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Fibromyalgia and Weight
September 27, 2019

(BMI) body weight index

Over the course of 11 years, data was collected from almost 16,000 women. The study had two data collection phases; the first part of the study was conducted between 1984 and 1986, with the second part being conducted from 1995 to 1997. During that time, women were asked about their physical activity, BMI, and their pain. In the 11 years between the two phases, 380 of the women reported having been diagnosed with FM. From this study, it was found that women who are overweight/obese are at a higher risk of developing FM, especially if they do not exercise regularly. When compared to women with normal BMIs, women with BMIs greater than 25 had a 60% to 70% higher chance of developing FM. Also, compared to inactive individuals, women who reported exercising 4 or more times per week have a 29% lower risk of developing FM.

In conclusion, this study shows that a high BMI is a strong risk factor for the future development of FM and that regular physical activity serves as a preventative tool against FM. With this information in mind, the next step would be to find out why women with higher BMIs are more likely to have FM. One possibility is the presence of proinflammatory factors in both FM patients and obese subjects. Both patient populations have also been found to have abnormal hormone regulation. Whatever the cause might be, one this is clear: it is important to maintain a normal body weight in order to prevent the onset of FM.

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