Tuesday, February 18, 2014

STUDY: Men with fibromyalgia experienced greater sleep respiratory disorders than women

A new fibromyalgia study suggests men with fibromyalgia, a neurologic condition with predominant chronic widespread pain and other symptoms, experience more sleep and breathing disorders than women with the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a presumptive condition for the purposes of VA disability claims for U.S. veterans with qualifying Gulf War service.  Recent research suggests there may be important differences between civilians who suffer from fibromyalgia and 1991 Gulf War veterans who experience chronic widespread pain and meet a research case definition of Gulf War Illness.

Respiratory-sleep disorders are commonly reported in the 1991 Gulf War veteran community.  The rate of their prevalence is unknown because VA monitors very little regarding the prevalence of medical conditions or mortality among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.  

VA medical centers are able to conduct sleep studies for veterans with suspected sleep disorders, which if treated could improve quality of life and other health factors.  


SOURCE:  Healio Rheumatology


Men with fibromyalgia experienced greater sleep respiratory disorders than women

  • February 18, 2014
Men with fibromyalgia experienced more alterations in sleep respiratory patterns compared with women with the condition, according to study results.
Researchers in Spain conducted interviews with 40 patients (mean age, 48 years; 55% women) with fibromyalgia (FM). BMI was measured, and patients completed questionnaires on pain, sleep, fatigue,depression, anxiety and functional impact. A full-night polysomnography study at home was conducted for all patients.
More men than women (61% vs. 31.8%) experienced an apnea-hypopnea index greater than 15. Desaturation indices greater than 5 were twice as common in men than women. Poorer sleep quality (16.05 ± 2.92% vs. 13.08 ± 3.88%; P=.01) and slow wave sleep (stage 3 duration, 9.02 ± 7.84% vs. 14.44 ± 7.32%; P=.03) also were experienced more often by men.
BMI, pain, emotional distress or daily functional levels were not significantly different between sexes. “However, pain in men, fatigue in women and functional impact in both sexes seemed to be related to worse sleep quality,” the researchers said.
Less total sleep time was related to higher emotional distress in women (anxiety: r=–0.517, P<.05; and depression: r=–0.556, P<.01), as did length of rapid eye movement sleep (fatigue: r=–0.466 and anxiety: r=–0.424, P<.05).
“More so in male FM patients, the alterations in sleep patterns, nonrefreshing sleep and other FM-related symptoms … might be part of a primary sleep-disordered breathing,” the researchers wrote. “Further research is necessary… to explore how treatment of [sleep-disordered breathing] could improve the clinical picture, psychological status and quality of life in FM patients.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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