A cross-sectional assessment of the prevalence of multiple chronic conditions and medication use in a sample of community-dwelling adults with fibromyalgia in Olmsted County, Minnesota

Ann Vincent, Mary O. Whipple, Samantha J. McAllister, Katherine M. Aleman, Jennifer St. Sauver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the problem of multiple chronic conditions and polypharmacy in patients with fibromyalgia. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Setting: Olmsted County, Minnesota. Participants: 1111 adults with fibromyalgia. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Number and type of chronic medical and psychiatric conditions, medication use. Results: Medical record review demonstrated that greater than 50% of the sample had seven or more chronic conditions. Chronic joint pain/degenerative arthritis was the most frequent comorbidity (88.7%), followed by depression (75.1%), migraines/chronic headaches (62.4%) and anxiety (56.5%). Approximately, 40% of patients were taking three or more medications for symptoms of fibromyalgia. Sleep aids were the most commonly prescribed medications in our sample (33.3%) followed by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (28.7%), opioids (22.4%) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (21.0%). Conclusions: The results of our study highlight the problem of multiple chronic conditions and high prevalence of polypharmacy in fibromyalgia. Clinicians who care for patients with fibromyalgia should take into consideration the presence of multiple chronic conditions when recommending medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere006681
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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