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Local Pain, Negative Affect Can Predict Fibromyalgia Pain

Findings suggest peripheral tissues may play a role in fibromyalgia pain

THURSDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Overall fibromyalgia pain can be predicted by ratings of local body pain and pain-related negative affect, according to a report in the November issue of Rheumatology.

Roland Staud, M.D., of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, and colleagues asked 277 fibromyalgia patients to use a body diagram to rate pain in each area and asked them to report negative emotion, such as pain-related anxiety and depression.

About 19 percent of pain variance was predicted by the pain-related negative affect. The numbers of painful body areas predicted 9 percent of pain variance and maximal/average local pain predicted 27 percent of pain variance, the study found. Thus, the combination of these three factors predicted 55 percent of the variance in overall clinical pain intensity in fibromyalgia patients.

The new findings point to a potential role of peripheral tissues in fibromyalgia pain. "Peripheral pain and negative affect appear to be particularly relevant for overall fibromyalgia pain and may represent important targets for future therapies," the authors conclude.

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