Asthma Symptoms and Control Worsened by Fibromyalgia

Patients with fibromyalgia and asthma experienced worse symptoms and poorer asthma control compared with patients with only asthma, according to a recent study.

The cross-sectional case-control multicenter study included 56 patients with asthma and fibromyalgia and 36 patients with asthma who were matched by age, sex, and asthma severity level. All participants were women.
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Participants completed the Asthma Control Test (ACT), the Mini Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (MiniAQLQ), the Nijmegen hyperventilation syndrome questionnaire, the hospital anxiety and depression scale, and reported their perception of dyspnea after acute bronchoconstriction.

While patients in both groups experienced similar asthma severity and had similar use of anti-asthmatic drugs, those with asthma and fibromyalgia had statistically significant lower scores in the ACT and the MiniQLQ questionnaires.

In addition, patients with asthma and fibromyalgia were more likely to have higher scores on the hospital anxiety and depression scale for both anxiety and depression, and were more likely to experience hyperventilation compared with patients without fibromyalgia. These differences were also found to be statistically significant.

“Fibromyalgia in patients with asthma influences the poor control of the respiratory disease and is associated with altered perception of dyspnea, hyperventilation syndrome, high prevalence of depression and anxiety, and impaired quality of life,” the researchers concluded.

“Fibromyalgia may be considered a risk factor for uncontrolled asthma in patients suffering from asthma and fibromyalgia concomitantly.”

—Melissa Weiss


Martinez-Moragon E, Plaza V, Torres I, et al. Fibromyalgia as a cause of uncontrolled asthma: a case-controlled multicenter study [published online July 12, 2017]. Curr Med Res Opin.