Fibromyalgia: a new facet of the post-COVID-19 syndrome spectrum? Results from a web-based survey

Francesco Ursini, Jacopo Ciaffi, Luana Mancarella, Lucia Lisi, Veronica Brusi, Carlotta Cavallari, Martina D'Onghia, Anna Mari, Elena Borlandelli, Jacopo Faranda Cordella, Micaela La Regina, Pasquale Viola, Piero Ruscitti, Marco Miceli, De Giorgio Roberto, Nicola Baldini, Claudio Borghi, Alessandro Gasbarrini, Annamaria Iagnocco, Roberto GiacomelliCesare Faldini, Maria Paola Landini, Riccardo Meliconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Postacute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS) is an emerging entity characterised by a large array of manifestations, including musculoskeletal complaints, fatigue and cognitive or sleep disturbances. Since similar symptoms are present also in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), we decided to perform a web-based cross-sectional survey aimed at investigating the prevalence and predictors of FM in patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Methods: Data were anonymously collected between 5 and 18 April 2021. The collection form consisted of 28 questions gathering demographic information, features and duration of acute COVID-19, comorbid diseases, and other individual's attributes such as height and weight. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Survey Criteria and the Italian version of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire completed the survey.

Results: A final sample of 616 individuals (77.4% women) filled the form 6±3 months after the COVID-19 diagnosis. Of these, 189 (30.7%) satisfied the ACR survey criteria for FM (56.6% women). A multivariate logistic regression model including demographic and clinical factors showed that male gender (OR: 9.95, 95% CI 6.02 to 16.43, p<0.0001) and obesity (OR: 41.20, 95% CI 18.00 to 98.88, p<0.0001) were the strongest predictors of being classified as having post-COVID-19 FM. Hospital admission rate was significantly higher in men (15.8% vs 9.2%, p=0.001) and obese (19.2 vs 10.8%, p=0.016) respondents.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that clinical features of FM are common in patients who recovered from COVID-19 and that obesity and male gender affect the risk of developing post-COVID-19 FM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalRMD Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • fibromyalgia
  • health services research


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