Fibromyalgia: Reviewing the epidemiology and gender-based differences in Africa

NM M, GO O. "Fibromyalgia: Reviewing the epidemiology and gender-based differences in Africa." African Journal of Rheumatology. 2021;7(1):3-7.


Objectives: Fibromyalgia is a
complex disorder which presents with
chronic widespread musculoskeletal
pain, together with other symptoms
like fatigue, sleep disturbances and
cognitive disturbance. The cause remains
unclear but it is postulated that there
are abnormalities in neurohormonal
profile and central sensitization to pain
as the main mechanism. It is known to
occur more commonly in females than
males. This study set out to look at these
differences in terms of epidemiology and
gender differences.
Data source: We conducted online and
public library searches using the English
Data extraction: We reviewed several
papers and research work focusing on
epidemiology and differences in gender
presentation. The period of the search was
between the years 1990 up to 2020.
Conclusion: Fibromyalgia is a commonly
occurring rheumatologic condition.
Gender differences exist with regard to
epidemiology, clinical presentation and
health seeking behaviors. Population
based studies would be of use to establish
the prevalence in Africa. More studies
would be necessary to explain the gender
differences noted in the many aspects
of the disease including response to
Key words: Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia
in women, Gender differences and impact

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