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Do fibromyalgia patients feel older than they really are? An observational study


1, 2, 3

 

  1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gaziosmanpasa Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey. makifguler89@gmail.com
  2. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gaziosmanpasa Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey.
  3. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation , Koc University School of Medicine , Istanbul , Turkey.

CER14221
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PMID: 33635233 [PubMed]

Received: 14/11/2020
Accepted : 25/01/2021
In Press: 05/02/2021

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
This study aimed to test the hypothesis that fibromyalgia patients feel older than their actual age and to investigate the associations between their subjective age and clinical parameters such as cognition, depression, anxiety, widespread pain, sleep, and fatigue.
METHODS:
This observational cross-sectional study enrolled 176 patients with newly diagnosed fibromyalgia and 89 controls. Subjective age was determined by asking the question “how old do you feel?”, and the difference between the physiological and subjective ages was calculated. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep cognition, and widespread pain levels in the subjects were evaluated, and multivariate stepwise regression analysis was used to determine the factors explaining the variation in the difference between actual and subjective age.
RESULTS:
Of the fibromyalgia patients, 75% felt older than their actual age, whereas 45% of the controls felt younger. Regression analysis revealed that depression, widespread pain, and fatigue explained nearly half of the variation in the subjective age and the difference between actual and subjective age.
CONCLUSIONS:
Fibromyalgia patients feel older than their actual age, and this subjective age is associated with depression, widespread pain, and fatigue. Further studies should investigate usage of subjective age perception in differential diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

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