Does fibromyalgia increase risk of stroke?
It would seem that fibromyalgia may increase the risk of the most common type of stroke, called an ischemic stroke.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to your brain is blocked, preventing your brain from receiving the oxygen it needs.
An ischemic stroke is caused when one of the arteries to your brain is clogged by a blood clot, preventing the flow of blood to your brain.
There are three main types of stroke, according to the American Heart Association: Ischemic, Hemorrhagic, and TIA.
An Ischemic stroke is when something clogs the artery preventing blood-flow to the brain, a Hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel bursts, and a TIA is caused by a temporary clot.
A study released in February 2016, examined data for over one million patients in Japan to examine if there was any increased risk of stroke among those who had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Previous studies have found that there is an increased risk of stroke with other neuropsychosomatic illnesses including IBS and interstitial cystitis.
Past studies have also indicated an increased risk with migraines, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression.
This study looked at 47,279 patients where diagnosed with Fibromyalgia between 2000 and 2002 then compared each patient with four age and sex matched non-Fibromyalgia patients (for a total of 189,112 in the non-Fibromyalgia group) to compare the risk between the two groups.
All patients were followed through 2011.
The researchers adjusted for all co-existing conditions that can increase risk of stroke, and after doing so found that there wasn’t a significant difference in risk for Hemorrhagic stroke.
However, the risk for Ischemic stroke was increased in the Fibromyalgia group by 25% during the time-frame.The risk of ischemic stroke increases in fibromyalgia patients by 25%. Click To Tweet
Interestingly, while the incidence of stroke increased with age in both groups, the actual risk of stroke decreased with age among the Fibromyalgia patients.
Certain co-existing conditions increased the risk of stroke across both groups.
Diabetes resulted in the greatest risk of stroke in the non-Fibromyalgia group, while in the Fibromyalgia group those with hypertension showed the greatest risk of stroke.
The scariest thing, to me, about these results is that they indicate that Fibromyalgia increases the risk of stroke especially in younger Fibromyalgia patients.
Stroke risk typically increases with age, but for those of us with Fibromyalgia we run a greater risk of stroke at a younger age.
We also typically have other co-existing conditions that are also associated with greater stroke risk, including IBS and migraine.
What isn’t clear is how much more (or if) our risk increases when we have all of these things.
Given that they adjusted for other illnesses that can cause an increase risk, I do wonder if having multiples actually increases the risk more. Scary thought.
I guess that just means it’s all the more important for us to control our risks where we can by eating right to avoid diabetes, and doing what we can to keep our blood pressure in check.Scary thought. There's an increased risk of stroke in Fibromyalgia patients. Click To Tweet
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