According to the American Chronic Pain Society, as many as 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia are undiagnosed. This fact means the chronic pain condition could be even more widespread than doctors and researchers realize.
The National Fibromyalgia Association estimates that up to 6 percent of the world’s population has fibromyalgia. Many of these individuals are also living with other chronic health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and obesity.
Gender and Age Disparities
The majority of people affected by fibromyalgia are cisgender female adults, and diagnosis usually occurs between age 20 and 50. However, men and children can be diagnosed with this condition, too. Mayo Clinic reports that juvenile-onset fibromyalgia affects anywhere from 2 to 6 percent of school-aged kids, most of them girls, and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 13 and 15.
Since there appears to be a high prevalence of fibromyalgia among relatives, genetic factors as well as environmental factors (e.g., stress, nutrition, exposure to toxins) are thought to play a role in disease prevalence.