According to the American Chronic Pain Society, fibromyalgia syndrome is one of the most common chronic pain conditions in the world. The main symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome are pain and tenderness across the body, with severe tiredness and problems with sleep – around 90% of the people with fibromyalgia syndrome will have problems with sleep. Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome are very varied and fibromyalgia syndrome can be quite difficult to diagnose, the statistics for people with the disorder can vary quite widely, and the figures can often be based on estimates rather than actual numbers.
How Many People Worldwide Have Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 3-6% of the world’s population has fibromyalgia syndrome. With a projected world population of 6,816,322,780 in April 2010 (based on the US Census Bureau’s US and World Population Clocks), this estimate would mean that somewhere around 200 million to 400 million people worldwide have fibromyalgia syndrome.
How Do Fibromyalgia Syndrome Numbers Vary Around the World?
Most of the numbers available for fibromyalgia syndrome are from the USA, but these still vary quite widely, and range from 3 to 10 million. The National Fibromyalgia Association suggests that as many as 10 million people in the USA have fibromyalgia syndrome. The National Pain Foundation states that about 2% of the US population has fibromyalgia syndrome, which would be around 6 million people. The American College of Rheumatology reports that around 3 to 6 million people in the USA have fibromyalgia syndrome, and the NWHIC (National Women's Health Information Centre – part of the US Department of Health and Human Services) suggests that the figures could be as high as 8 million.
NIAMS (the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, one of the US National Institutes of Health) estimates that 3.7 million people in the USA have fibromyalgia syndrome. This would be a prevalence (the number of people in the population with the disease) of about 1 in 73 people.
Based on this prevalence, around 800,000 people in the UK would have fibromyalgia syndrome (but bear in mind that this is just an estimate, and is based on the prevalence in the USA – it may be different in the UK).
The NHS estimates that 2-4.5% of people in the UK may have fibromyalgia syndrome – based on a UK population of 61,414,062 (figures from 2008 from the World Bank), this would mean that between 1.2 million and 2.8 million people in the UK would have fibromyalgia syndrome.
How Do the Numbers Differ Between Men and Women?
Fibromyalgia syndrome is more common in women than in men – according to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 75-90% of people with fibromyalgia syndrome are women.
How Do the Numbers Differ With Age?
Symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome usually start somewhere between 20 and 55 years old. As the disease is lifelong, by the age of 80, about 8% of people can be classified as having fibromyalgia syndrome, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association.
I’m newly diagnosed, and it’s like I’m in a living hell, everything hurts all the time, no medication helps, it’s a life long illness, and I’m only 14. Sports is my favorite thing in the world, but that’s becoming hard, I’m not really up to anything anymore, I’m always tired because I can’t sleep at night, even with sleeping medication. If anyone has any tips or anything that will or even just could help, please let me know asap!
Bec - 11-Oct-17 @ 12:54 AM
my mum has fibro and i always help her most people cannot see how bad she is and think that she is lazy but they are blind to what we can see, she doesnt lay in bed all day she pushes herself to the limit. She wont let it beat her or live off medication because she is strong. BE AWARE OF Fms
cj - 2-Jun-17 @ 5:48 PM
Annette, I liked your comments about Fibro and I like the title of your book.Nodoube IT HURTS LIKE HELL!Thank you for bringing awareness to this syndrome.So many people have no clue as to what people have to live with when thy have Fibro.
I am newly diagnosed and interested in learning more. Good luck in your endeavors and I wish you all the best.
Punkin - 26-Jan-13 @ 8:31 PM
I am trying to bring awareness to the world. I have had Fibro for 15 yrs, I wrote a book about living with daily chronic pain(FMS). It is called I HURT LIKE HELL by Dorrance Publishing. also avail at Amazon, Kindle, dorrancebookstore.. I have decided to dedicate my life to raising worldwide awareness. I know i will proly not see a cure in my lifetime, but i want the name-calling, the humiliation, our families and friends dont believe our pain is real. So my slogan is AWARENESS NOW...acceptance that i have chronic pain and their are things i cant do anymore and my life and relationships have changed. But I am still a wonderful,caring,loving individual. I am more than FMS, it does not own my life.thank youSincerely Annette L JacksonAWARENESS NOW