Abeer El Zohiery, Yasser El Miedany, Tarek Elserry, Ossama El Shazly, Salwa Galal, Impact of electromagnetic field exposure on pain, severity, functional status and depression in patients with primary fibromyalgia syndrome,
The Egyptian Rheumatologist, 2020,
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition characterized by generalized body pain, and mood disturbances of unknown etiology. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), where patients report “hypersensitivity” to electro-magnetic fields (EMF). They wonder whether aches and pains, headaches, depression, sleeping disorders, could be associated with EMF exposure.
Aim of the work
Is to investigate if fibromyalgia symptoms and scores are affected by the exposure to EMF.
Patients and methods
This study included 80 FMS patients. The numerical pain rating scale (NPRS), Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the revised fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQR) were used. A patient self-reporting questionnaire invented by the authors in Arabic for the frequency and intensity of EMF exposure was validated and used.
The mean age of the patients was 38.7 ± 11 years and mean disease duration 4.5 ± 2.4 years. The male to female ratio was 1:2.8. A near-by cellular phone or electric tower did not significantly affect disease scores (p > 0.05), Microwave users appeared to have higher wide spread pain index (WPI) and system severity (SS) scores than non-users, but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.08 and 0.06) respectively. FMS scores significantly increased with higher TV watching duration, while MADRS score significantly decreased with higher cellular phone use indices. MADRS depression score was increased with shorter distance from electric tower, though not statistically significant (p = 0.76)
This study highlights a possible pathological link between fibromyalgia and exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Excess exposure to electromagnetic devices could be one of the underlying or at least augmenting factors of fibromyalgia symptoms.