Are there gender differences in quality of life and symptomatology between fibromyalgia patients?
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences in quality of life (QoL) and symptomatology in fibromyalgia (FM) patients. A total of 20 men (48.0 ± 8.0 years) and 78 women (49.8 ± 7.2 years) with FM participated in the study (age range 31-63 years). Health-related QoL and FM impact were assessed by means of the Spanish versions of the Short-Form-36 Health Survey (SF36) and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), respectively. Comparisons in QoL were performed using one-way analysis of covariance adjusted by age and body mass index (BMI), and comparisons in FIQ dimensions were performed using Mann-Whitney test. Overall FM impact, as measured by FIQ-total score (p = .01) and FIQ-physical impairment (p = .02) was higher in men, whereas women presented higher values of FIQ-fatigue and FIQ-morning tiredness (p = .04) and less SF36-vitality (p = .02). Therefore, women appear to feel more fatigue, whereas men present higher FM overall impact. Due to the small number of men included in this study and the consequent small statistical power, these results should be taken as preliminary. Higher powered studies are warranted to further address gender differences in FM in order to design more successful treatments.