Background. The relation between low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, including fibromyalgia syndrome, is debatable. Many studies have reported “a positive relation” and others “found no relation.”
Objectives. To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among patients with fibromyalgia in a neurology clinic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Methods. This study was done at a neurology clinic of Bugshan Hospital, Jeddah, KSA, from January to April 2011. Thirty female patients were diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to new clinical fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria; their serum vitamin D levels were screened. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as <20 ng/mL, vitamin D insufficiency is defined as 21–29 ng/mL, and vitamin D sufficiency is equal to or >30 ng/mL.
Result. Thirty female patients were included in the study. The mean age was 34.56 ± 8.1 years. Mean vitamin D level was 4.76 ± 1.46 ng/mL. A significant negative correlation between vitamin D level and widespread pain index was found.
Thirty percent of the patients were Saudi Arabian of whom 100% were veiled; 70% were non-Saudi Arabian of whom 47.6% were veiled and 52.4% wore long pants and/or full sleeved clothes. Vitamin D deficiency was equally prevalent among veiled (4.77 ± 1.37 ng/mL) and nonveiled (4.75 ± 1.68 ng/mL). Treatment with high-dose vitamin D resulted in clinical improvement in all patients.
Conclusion. Vitamin D deficiency is often seen in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia in our population. This was equally true in veiled and nonveiled, but conservatively dressed populations. Effective treatment with high-dose vitamin D could lead to resolution of almost all symptoms. Further study of these populations and fortification of foods with vitamin D may be essential.