Q: I have had fibromyalgia since I was 15. What is the possibility that my daughter will also have this condition? Has there been any research on how teenagers develop fibromyalgia?

A: The origin of fibromyalgia is unknown, but recent studies suggest there may be a relationship between fibromyalgia and depression and other mood disturbances. These mood disorders tend to run in families, and there is evidence of an increased frequency of depression among first-degree relatives of people with fibromyalgia. Although children and teenagers can develop fibromyalgia, it is much more common in people over the age of 20 and it predominantly affects women.

Although fibromyalgia is very common, it is difficult to predict the likelihood that any individual will develop it, even with a family history. If you have concerns about your daughter's condition, I recommend that you consult a rheumatologist.

David S. Pisetsky, MD, PhD, Rheumatologist