Objective To estimate and compare the prevalence of fibromyalgia by 2 different methods in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Methods The first method was a retrospective review of medical records of potential cases of fibromyalgia in Olmsted County using the Rochester Epidemiology Project (from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2009) to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed fibromyalgia in clinical practice. The second method was a random survey of adults in Olmsted County using the fibromyalgia research survey criteria to estimate the percentage of responders who met the fibromyalgia research survey criteria. Results Of the 3,410 potential patients identified by the first method, 1,115 had a fibromyalgia diagnosis documented in the medical record by a health care provider. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed fibromyalgia by this method was 1.1%. By the second method, of the 2,994 people who received the survey by mail, 830 (27.6%) responded and 44 (5.3%) met the fibromyalgia research survey criteria. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population of Olmsted County by this method was estimated at 6.4%. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the rate at which fibromyalgia is being diagnosed in a community. This is also the first report of prevalence as assessed by the fibromyalgia research survey criteria. Our results suggest that patients, particularly men, who meet the fibromyalgia research survey criteria are unlikely to have been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
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