Fibromyalgia Worsens Psoriatic Arthritis Outcomes

What happens when someone with psoriatic arthritis also has fibromyalgia? Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel were determined to find out.

What happens when someone with psoriatic arthritis also has fibromyalgia? Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel were determined to find out.

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that specifically affects patients with psoriasis. This inflammatory arthritis commonly causes joint pain as well as stiffness and swelling. Although fibromyalgia continues to be a mysterious disease, we know that the condition causes chronic pain and fatigue in patients. So again we present the question: What happens when someone with psoriatic arthritis also has fibromyalgia?

Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, the researchers looked at 73 patients with psoriatic arthritis. Forty-two participants (57.5%) were females and the average age was nearly 52. Clinical disease activity was measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), Dermatology Life Quality Index, and Leeds Enthesitis Index (LEI). Disease activity was further analyzed with the Composite Psoriatic Disease Activity Index (CPDAI), minimal disease activity (MDA), and Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis (DAPSA) scores.

  • Related: The Psychological Impact of Psoriatic Arthritis

Using the American College of Rheumatism criteria, fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 13 patients (17.8%) — 12 of which were female.

CPDAI and DAPSA scores were significantly higher in patients who had both psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia than just psoriatic arthritis alone (CPDAI: 9.23 vs. 4.25 and DAPSA: 27.53 vs. 12.82, respectively). In addition, HAQ, BASDAI, and LEI scores were significantly worse in patients with coexisting fibromyalgia.

Twenty-six patients (43.3%) with just psoriatic arthritis met the criteria for MDA, however, none of the participants who had fibromyalgia did.

The big takeaway here is that the presence of fibromyalgia worsened all psoriatic arthritis disease activity scores.

“Its influence should be taken into consideration in the treatment algorithm to avoid unnecessary upgrading of treatment,” the authors concluded.

Also on MD Magazine >>> Self-Questionnaire vs. Rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia Diagnosis