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Clinical characteristics of fibromyalgia have so far been based mainly on patients identified in rheumatologic settings. This paper offers the clinical findings in fibromyalgia based on a national health interview survey, in which 123 persons fulfilled preset criteria for widespread pain. Clinical examination could be performed on 65 subjects (53%) and included physical examination, tender point palpation by two blinded trained physicians, blood sample analysis, measurement of dynamic muscular strength and a detailed self-administered questionnaire. Significantly more subjective swelling, fatigue, headache, difficulty in stair-climbing, and poorer self-evaluated health with more tender points was found. Contrary to that which was expected, fibromyalgia subjects did not suffer from sleep disturbances, irritable bowels or morning stiffness. Our findings indicate that clinical characteristics of fibromyalgia in the general population may differ from those found in rheumatological settings.

Original publication




Journal article


Scand J Rheumatol

Publication Date





238 - 242


Adult, Aged, Edema, Fatigue, Female, Fibromyalgia, Headache, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pain Measurement, Sex Factors