Obesity has been associated with several complications, including musculoskeletal disorders. Aim of the present systematic review was to identify all available evidence on the relationship between fibromyalgia (FM) and obesity, including epidemiological association, impact of obesity on FM severity and effect of weight loss strategies on FM symptoms.
MedLine, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Web of Science databases were searched up to September 2020 to identify eligible articles. Data from studies reporting the prevalence of obesity in FM patients were pooled using a random-effects model.
After removal of duplicate records, 393 studies proceeded to review. A total of 41 articles were deemed eligible for inclusion in final synthesis. Quality assessment revealed that the overall risk of bias was high. The overall prevalence of obesity in FM was 35.7% (95% CI: 31.8 – 39.9%), with higher figures reported for USA. The majority of studies included demonstrated that obesity is associated with different domains of the disorder, including composite measures of activity, pain severity, tender point count, stiffness, fatigue, physical functioning/disability, sleep, cognitive dysfunction, and quality of life; the strength of correlation was weak on average. Inconsistent data were available regarding the correlation with depression and anxiety. Only few studies addressed the effect of therapeutic weight loss in FM, either by bariatric surgery, diet/exercise combination or behavioral weight loss, providing preliminary evidence for a potential benefit of weight loss in ameliorating FM symptoms.
Available data support a potential interplay between obesity and FM-related symptoms. Weight management should be encouraged in patients with FM.

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