To determine whether sleep disorders can cause a fibromyalgia syndrome, 30 patients with sleep apnoea syndrome were studied. All presented an important reduction in deep sleep stages (-93.1 (SD 17.9)% of stage IV and -77.2 (45.7)% of stage III) and frequent episodes of wakening ('arousals'), factors which are involved in fibromyalgia. One patient (3%) met the criteria for fibromyalgia; the estimated prevalence of fibromyalgia for patients attending a general medical clinic is 6%. No significant correlation was found between the number of points which were tender upon pressure and the various sleep parameters studied. It is concluded that sleep disorders alone are not able to produce a fibromyalgia syndrome.
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