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Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get fibromyalgia with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many risk factors.

Fibromyalgia is more common in women, mainly those over 40 years of age. It is also more common in people who have first degree family members who have it. Other things that may raise the risk are:


People with certain infections have a higher risk. Examples are Lyme disease and hepatitis C.


People who have had a physical trauma or injury are at higher risk.


Stress can raise the risk of this health problem. Examples are stress from illness, trauma, and life events.

Other Chronic Pain Problems

Other health problems that cause pain have been linked to fibromyalgia. Some of these are:


  • Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia.
  • Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/fibromyalgia.
  • Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibromyalgia.
  • Macfarlane GJ, Kronisch C, et al. EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Feb;76(2):318-328.


  • James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.