Fibromyalgia patients at higher risk of being in serious car accidents

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study has found that fibromyalgia patients are at a higher risk of being in a car crash. Researchers focused on serious accidents that forced the drivers to seek medical attention in hospitals. Although they found that people with fibromyalgia were more likely to be involved in a serious car accident, they also noted that ongoing care and treatment helped reduce the risk.

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The study included 137,631 adults who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The researchers did not focus on who caused the car accident or how it occurred. Their results, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, indicate that fibromyalgia patients are twice as likely to be involved in a serious car crash compared to the rest of the population. They found that fibromyalgia patients are at a higher risk of being in car accidents that force them to seek medical attention.

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Although researchers pointed out that the risk is higher for fibromyalgia patients, they also mentioned that seeking treatment for the condition could help decrease the risk. Patients who were receiving ongoing medical care for their chronic pain, sleep problems and other issues were less likely to be involved in a car accident. Researchers hope the study encourages patients and doctors to have conversations about driving safety. They do not want fibromyalgia patients to give up driving, unless there are serious issues, but they recommend taking extra precautions.

Medical experts point out that fibromyalgia is often associated with poor sleep quality and frequent complaints about insomnia. This may help explain a portion of the car crashes because sleep issues can be dangerous for drivers. However, experts point out that many fibromyalgia patients are capable of driving and do not experience any problems. Their goal is to encourage those who are having issues to seek help from their doctors.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain

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