Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread, soft tissue pain, as well as accompanying comorbidities, such as disturbed sleep, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.
It is estimated that fibromyalgia occurs in two percent of the general U.S. population. Men and children may present with the disorder; however, women are more frequently diagnosed with fibromyalgia compared to men, at a rate of nine to one. Diagnosis is most likely to occur between ages 20–50.
Studies reporting direct medical costs demonstrate that patients with fibromyalgia cost employers approximately $6,000 a year in 1998 dollars. Extrapolating from that figure, without accounting for inflation, fibromyalgia costs the U.S. health care system more than $20 billion annually.