#AAN2018 – Fibromyalgia Linked to Higher Burden, Disability Risk in Patients with Chronic Migraine

The results of this study, part of a session titled Headache Diagnosis, Burden and Co-Morbidity, will be presented today at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles. The poster presentation is titled “Fibromyalgia and Myositis in Migraine: A Nationwide Study of Disability and Discharge outcome.”

Increased frequency of migraine can trigger a state of hypersensitivity, and even promote chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia. According to the 2010 American College of Rheumatology diagnostic criteria, fibromyalgia is frequent among patients with chronic migraine.

The research team reviewed the cases of hospitalizations due to migraine in the U.S. that were recorded in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 2003 and 2014.

The cases were separated in two groups, based on the presence or absence of fibromyalgia diagnosis. The team used the collected information to determine the prevalence, associated costs, length of stay, loss of function, and discharge characteristics for each group, and then compared them.

A total of 596,231 of hospitalizations due to migraine were reported, of which 27,760 cases (4.65%) were associated with fibromyalgia. The prevalence of migraine accompanying fibromyalgia showed a tendency to increase up to double throughout the years, rising from 3.07% in 2003 to 6.21% in 2014.

The frequency of events involving severe loss of function was higher among patients with fibromyalgia (8.12%) than in patients without that secondary condition (6.22%). In line with this finding, about 5.15% of fibromyalgia patients required continued care, being transferred from the hospital to other healthcare facilities, whereas this situation was reported in only 4.05% of cases without fibromyalgia. Hospital discharge to home was more frequent in the group of patients without fibromyalgia.

In this analysis, fibromyalgia was found to be associated with increased hospitalization time and costs. These patients stayed approximately one day more in the hospital, representing an increased cost of $2,300, than migraine patients without fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Collectively, these results reveal that fibromyalgia represents greater burden for patients with chronic migraine. Improved risk assessment of fibromyalgia and prevention of chronic migraine may help reduce disability and improve outcome of these patients, the researchers concluded.


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