Background The prevalence of Fibromyalgia (FM) in Cataluña is estimated in 146,311 people affected in the year 2011. It has been reported that a 30% of the people with FM has a permanent incapacity before the age of retirement. Under these perspective one may expect that with the economic crisis one of two things can occur: an increase in the disability reports as a solution to the economic problem which would be reflected as an increase in the incidence of FM or that to avoid the loss of jobs there would be a reduction in the incidence of FM or a reduction in the request of disability reports
Objectives To measure the incidence of Fibromyalgia (FM) in a specialized Rheumatology Unit and to analyze if the current economic crisis has affected it. As a secondary goal, to analyze if the number of reports of disability has increased during the economic crisis period
Methods Data were collected from our clinical register of global first medical visits of patients who were visited during a period before the economic crisis (years 2006-2007) and in a period during the economic crisis (2010-2011). Demographics of first medical visits were recorded. Patients with FM diagnosis were selected. A quantitative analysis was realized comparing number of first FM visits and number of disability reports requested in both periods.
Results During the period 2006-2007 a total of 528 first medical visits were registered. Among them 186 were patients diagnosed with FM (98.4% women, 1.6% men), the mean age was 54 years ± 5.6. During the period 2010-2011 a total of 555 first medical visits were registered, among them 144 were patients diagnosed with FM (95% women, 5% men) mean age was 49 years ± 9.9. Regarding the disability reports, during years 2006-2007 a total of 27 requests were registered compared to 26 requests during years 2010-2011. The mean age of people who request a disability report was 54.94 years during the first period and 48.44 years during the second period.
These results are summarized in the table below:
Chi square test was used for statistical analysis to assess the relationship between the first medical FM visit and the possibility of request a disability report in each period. The level of significance was 0.4 and it was not statistically significant.
Conclusions We have not registered an increase in the number of patients with diagnosis of FM during the economic crisis period. A higher number of total first visits were registered while we observed a decrease in the FM first visits. This observation probably means that the less favorable socioeconomic situation has not increased the number of FM patients, contrarily the incidence seems to have decreased.
Apparently, patients with FM do not come to rheumatologist visit to pursuit an incapacity benefit. The number of disability reports has not increased significantly. However we observed a decrease in the mean age of patients who requested a disability report Apparently, the current economic situation does not increase the number of patients with FM who request for work disability.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared