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AB0657 Employment status and education attainment in fibromyalgia
  1. C. E. Gota1,
  2. B. Nutter2,
  3. W. S. Wilke1
  1. 1Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute
  2. 2Quantitative Health Sciences, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, United States


Background Patients with fibromyalgia have been reported to fare worse socially than the general population.

Objectives To evaluate the socioeconomic status of fibromyalgia patients seen in a tertiary care center.

Methods First 306 consecutive new patients enrolled prospectively in the Cleveland Clinic Fibromyalgia Cohort. Enrollment was based on the clinician diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The following demographic data was collected: gender, age, marital data, employment status, estimated income based on ZIP code of residence, type of insurance. Changes in the way ethnicity was reported at the time of enrollment affected our ability to obtain accurate data.

Results Comparison of our results is made with data on adult US population reported by the Census Bureau and Social Security from 2011 or 2012 where available, presented in parentheses.

Employment status and disability: 45% of fibromyalgia patients, median age 44, were employed (vs. 57.3%) 23.4% were unemployed (vs. 8.2%) and 23.8% were receiving disability (vs 15.5%).

Educational attainment: High school graduation rate was 94.3% (vs 87.1%), some college was attended by 35.6% (vs 55.9%), 22.5% college graduates (vs 39%), 12% postgraduate education (11.5%).

Estimated income: The median estimated income was 40,899 US dollars.

Type of insurance: 11.1% had no insurance, 21% were either on medicare or Medicaid while 67.7% had private insurance.

Conclusions Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition associated with higher disability and unemployement rates. Compared to the general US population less fibromyalgia patients have a college education.


Reisine S, Fifield J, Walsh S, Forrest DD. Employment and health status changes among women with fibromyalgia: a five-year study. Arthritis Rheum 2008;59(12):1735-41.

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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