At any given point in time, 2% of the American population is said to suffer from fibromyalgia, an estimated 5 million adults, or 1 in 50 people. Women are more highly affected than men are. In fact, 3.4% of women have the disorder compared to only 0.5% of men.
This means that the male to female ratio comparing women with fibromyalgia and men with the disease is about 7:1. It also means that 80 to 90% of all fibromyalgia sufferers are women although men and children also suffer from fibromyalgia.
Most people get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia during their middle-aged years. The overall prevalence of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia is the second most common musculoskeletal disorder behind osteoarthritis.
As mentioned, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia increases with age. 60% of fibromyalgia patients receive their diagnosis in their 30s and 40s, while another 35% will receive the diagnosis in their 20s or when they are between the ages of 50 and 65. It is rare to have a first time diagnosis of fibromyalgia under the age of 20 or over the age of 65.
As for women of working age who were hospitalized with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, those with fibromyalgia were nearly ten times less likely to return to the workforce and four times less likely to be hired for another job within one year following the hospitalization when compared to those hospitalized for other musculoskeletal disorders.
For men and women who work with fibromyalgia, those with the disease miss about 17 days of work each year when compared to missing only 6 days per year for those who do not have fibromyalgia. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is associated with lesser levels of health-associated quality of life and a decrease in work productivity.
Fibromyalgia appears to be related to other types of rheumatic disease. Those diagnosed with fibromyalgia also suffered from diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus about 25 to 65% of the time.