Fibromyalgia Causes

Is fibromyalgia genetic?

A Answers (8)

  • Fibromyalgia can be associated with genetic factors and thus may be hereditary. Genetic factors seem to play a role in this chronic pain syndrome.
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  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Although the cause is unknown, (which is why FM is classified as a syndrome rather than a disease), there is some evidence suggesting it is an inherited disorder.

    Anectdotally, patients often say they have another family member with FM. I know my sister has been diagnosed with it, and I suspect my mother had it. My grandmother was diagnosed with "muscular rheumatism," an old term for fibromyalgia.

    You can read more about FM and what the book includes at

    L. M. Arnold, J. I. Hudson, E. V. Hess, A. E. Ware, D. A. Fritz, M. B. Auchenbach, L. O. Starck, and P. E. Keck Jr., “Family study of fibromyalgia,” Arthritis &Rheumatism 50, no. 3 (2004): 944–52.

  • Recent studies show that genetic factors may predispose individuals to fibromyalgia. For some patients, the onset of the syndrome is slow. But in a large percentage of patients, the onset is triggered by an illness or an injury.

  • ADawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Studies have shown that 28% of people born to a mother who had fibromyalgia also had the disease, as did 26% of blood relatives of someone with fibromyalgia. Some people have argued that you don't inherit a susceptibility to fibromyalgia, but rather that you learn to talk about having pain all over your body when you grow up in a family in which other people talk about widespread pain.

    This argument was debunked by a large study that evaluated fibromyalgia in relatives of people with two different types of chronic widespread pain. They looked at 533 relatives of people with fibromyalgia and 272 relatives of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Among the relatives they were able to interview, fibromyalgia could be diagnosed in 19% of those with an affected relative and in only 4% of those related to someone with rheumatoid arthritis. So, if you have a relative with fibromyalgia, you're over eight times more likely to also have fibromyalgia yourself than if your relative had rheumatoid arthritis.
  • There is evidence that show that fibromyalgia might have some genetic components to it. It has been found in clusters in family members of sufferers. The way this is passed on is still unknown, but researches are showing that it might involve multiple genes, which are not just specific for FM only.
  • ANatalie E. Azar, MD, Rheumatology, answered
    Is fibromyalgia genetic?

    The genetics of fibromyalgia have not been fully comprehended, but there appears to be a genetic predisposition that is triggered by an environmental factor. Watch as rheumatologist Natalie Azar, MD, explains how genetics and fibromyalgia are linked.

  • AJennifer Caudle, DO, Family Medicine, answered
    Is fibromyalgia genetic?

    Fibromyalgia remains a mysterious disease. In this video, family medicine specialist Dr. Jennifer Caudle explains what researchers think about about whether your genes play a role. 

  • AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered

    About half of people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome have another family member who also has it. As most people have a lot of family members, this means that the child of a woman with fibromyalgia or CFS still has a very low risk of also getting it.

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