Because fibromyalgia is so commonly misdiagnosed and because its causes are not understood fully, it is difficult to effectively determine its risk factors. However, a few are known.


Women are far more likely than men—eight to nine times more likely—to have fibromyalgia.


The most common age to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia is early to middle adulthood—between 20 and 50 years old.

Family History

If you have a close relative with fibromyalgia, you are more likely to be diagnosed yourself.

Sleep Disorders

It is not known if sleep problems are a symptom or a cause of fibromyalgia (see Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Causes sections), but people who have disorders affecting sleep such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome are more likely to have fibromyalgia.

Other Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatic diseases affect the joints, muscles, and bones. People who suffer from another rheumatic disease—including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis—are more likely to have fibromyalgia as well.