A strong positive association was found between the presence of anti-thyroid antibodies and fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.
The study comprised a cohort of 203 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had documented presence of anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) antibodies. The researchers used logistic regression analyses to determine the statistical significance of the relationships between the thyroid antibodies and the presence of fibromyalgia and widespread pain.
Thirty-four percent of the patients had positive results for anti-TPO, and 35% tested positive for anti-TG. Of the total of patients with positive results for both antibodies, 37% were diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic widespread pain.
Logistic regression analyses adjusted by age, sex, diabetes and BMI showed patients with anti-TPO antibodies were more than 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The risk for fibromyalgia in patients with anti-TG antibodies was not statistically significant, according to the researchers.
Patients with either antibody were 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, or 2.5 times more likely when adjusted for degenerative disease. – by Shirley Pulawski
Ahmad J, et al. Paper #401. Presented at: American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting. Nov. 14-19, 2014; Boston.
The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.