Feb 22, 2014

More People Get On Social Security Disability Benefits For Fibromyalgia Than You Might Think

     From the abstract of Social Security Work Disability And Its Predictors In Patients With Fibromyalgia by Frederick Wolfe MD, Brian T. Walitt MD MPH, Robert S. Katz MD, and Winfried Häuser MD, published in Arthritis Care & Research, a publication of the American College of Rheumatology:
During the study, 34.8% (95% CI 32.9, 36.8) of fibromyalgia patients received SSD [Social Security Disability]. The annual incidence of SSD among patients not receiving SSD at study enrollment was 3.4% (3.0, 3.9%), and 25% were estimated to be work disabled at 9.0 years of follow-up. By comparison, the prevalence of SSD in rheumatoid arthritis patients with concomitant fibromyalgia was 55.6% (54.3, 57.0) and was 42.4% in osteoarthritis. By study conclusion, 31.4% of SSD awardees were no longer receiving SSD. In univariate models, incident SSD in patients with fibromyalgia was predicted by socio-demographic measures and by symptom burden; but the strongest predictor was functional status (Health Assessment Questionnaire disability [HAQ]).


Anonymous said...

Fibromyalgia is a secondary diagnosis in virtually all disability allowances in which it is any factor. The primary diagnosis is virtually always affective disorder, including depression, personality disorder, or other related conditions. Those allowed are also overwhelmingly female, and white. I can think of only one case ever in which a male was allowed with the dx. I never saw a case in which rheumatoid arthritis was correlated with fibromyalgia. I do not recall ever having a claim filed by a non-white person alleging fibromyalgia.

Anonymous said...

I've had one or two black females with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I've gotten one approval of a white male that found fibromyalgia a severe impairment.

The fibromyalgia usually isn't well explored in the record, but I did have one lady, a white female, who had extensive laboratory documentation showing consistently high levels of Epstein Bar virus, as well as consistently low levels of a certain red blood cell type associated with chronic fatigue.

There's probably a socio-economic factor coming into play, at least in part. White people more likely to be insured or be able to see a specialist like a rheumatologist. Or maybe there is a genetic component, like sickle cell.

Anonymous said...

Black people also don't have cats as pets. Cat ownership has been associated with CFS, Fibro etc. I have CFS and I am 99% sure that's how I got it.