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Optic Neuritis Linked to Inflammatory Response in Patients with Fibromyalgia

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Optic neuritis linked to inflammatory response in patients with fibromyalgia suggests a new study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

A study was done to estimate the risk of incidence of optic neuritis and identify the high-risk group among patients with fibromyalgia (FM) DESIGN: Population-based cohort study

A nationwide, population-based study was conducted using data from the Korean National Health Claims database from 2012 to 2021. This study included all the patients with FM from the entire South Korean population aged 20-79 years (FM group). Moreover, those with pain but not diagnosed with fibromyalgia were considered as the non-fibromyalgia group. A cohort was established by classifying it into the fibromyalgia and non-fibromyalgia groups during the recruitment period. A log-rank analysis was used to compare the risk of optic neuritis incidence between the fibromyalgia group and the non-fibromyalgia group. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to calculate the adjusted hazard ratio (HR). The cohort was analyzed by stratifying according to age and sex.


  • The fibromyalgia and non-fibromyalgia groups included 479,892 and 479,892 participants, respectively.

  • The incidence rate of optic neuritis was 35.65/100000 person-years in the fibromyalgia group; the HR was significantly higher in the fibromyalgia group than in the non-fibromyalgia group

  • The mean interval between the onset of fibromyalgia and incident optic neuritis was 2.4 ± 1.8 years.

  • The risk increased significantly in men between 60-79 years age group and in women between 20-39 years age group

Researchers quantified the risk of optic neuritis through a long-term follow-up, which could contribute to understanding the pathophysiology and estimating the general healthcare burden associated with FM in a practical setting. Great attention should be paid to its risk in older men and younger women.


Cho HR, Lee GK, Lee JY. Increased risk of optic neuritis in patients with Fibromyalgia: nationwide population-based cohort study in South Korea. Am J Ophthalmol. 2023 Aug 25:S0002-9394(23)00343-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2023.08.015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37634609.


Optic neuritis, linked, inflammatory, response, patients, fibromyalgia, Cho HR, Lee GK, Lee JY, American Journal of Ophthalmology

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Schedule22 May 2024