Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy

Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0277

+32 466 90 2266


Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients with Fibromyalgia: Report from a Fibromyalgia Clinic

Gail A Welsh, Mary O Whipple, Eric J Olson, Ann Vincent, Laura L Loehrer, Stephen S Cha and Dietlind L Wahner-Roedler

Objectives: Fatigue and unrefreshing sleep are symptoms of fibromyalgia and part of its diagnostic criteria. The literature is inconsistent regarding the prevalence of sleep disorders in fibromyalgia. The purpose of the study was to determine if obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was more common in patients with fibromyalgia than in a general internal medicine clinic population.

Methods: The records of 500 patients seen in a fibromyalgia clinic who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia were compared with 500 patients seen in a general internal medicine clinic who did not have the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The presence of a diagnosis of OSA was abstracted from each record. Patients were matched for age, sex, and body mass index. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample. Pearson χ2 test and Fisher exact test were used for analysis.

Results: OSA was significantly more common in patients presenting to a fibromyalgia clinic compared with the patient population lacking the fibromyalgia diagnosis. This finding was independent of body mass index in overweight and moderately obese cohorts.

Conclusion: Patients with fibromyalgia should be screened for OSA because treatment of sleep disorders may help with symptoms of fatigue and unrefreshing sleep.