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Medialink Features: The Painful Truth About Fibromyalgia
Date:11/1/2007

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Fibromyalgia is the most common widespread chronic pain condition in the United States, affecting more than six million Americans. But, findings from two new surveys commissioned by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) show there is still much to be learned about this debilitating condition.

A survey of the general public shows nearly half (45%) of respondents have never heard of fibromyalgia. Furthermore, among those surveyed who are aware of fibromyalgia, the survey finds some misperceptions. Almost one in five participants (18%) who report having knowledge of fibromyalgia incorrectly believe the condition is preventable. Others incorrectly classify fibromyalgia as an autoimmune disease (32%) or type of arthritis (28%). A separate survey of physicians further showcases the need for more fibromyalgia education, with the majority (82%) agreeing there is a need for more medical education and patient information.

The NFA just launched an educational awareness campaign that aims to increase understanding of fibromyalgia. The campaign, supported through a sponsorship by Pfizer, includes an interactive Web site, http://www.fibrohope.org, that provides a series of patient education materials, resources and tools.

"While the pain of fibromyalgia can be relentless, people with the condition usually don't look sick, so it can be difficult for their families, friends, colleagues and healthcare providers to understand the serious impact of the condition," said Lynne Matallana, founder and president of the NFA, and a fibromyalgia sufferer.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by a unique kind of persistent pain which is usually accompanied by poor sleep, stiffness and fatigue. It is most common in women, though men can suffer from the condition, too. Because of its debilitating nature, fibromyalgia often hampers a person's ability to work and engage in everyday a
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SOURCE Medialink and National Fibromyalgia Association
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