Fibromyalgia Facts (cont.)

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Is fibromyalgia hereditary?

Increasing evidence supports a strong genetic component to fibromyalgia. Siblings, parents, and children of a person with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely to have fibromyalgia than those who have no relatives with the condition. There are several genes that have been suspected to play a role in fibromyalgia. Studies in twins suggest that half the risk of fibromyalgia and related disorders is genetic and half is environmental.

What are risk factors for fibromyalgia?

Because it is in part hereditary, a family history of fibromyalgia is a risk factor for the development of fibromyalgia. Other risk factors include autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis, as patients with these diseases are more likely to have fibromyalgia than the general population. These patients are referred to as having "secondary fibromyalgia" because the autoimmune disease may trigger fibromyalgia.

Other emotional and physical stressors such as physical trauma (especially involving the spine and trunk), emotional stress, and certain infections (hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, parvovirus, and Lyme disease but not the common cold) are associated with the development of fibromyalgia in some.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/10/2015

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