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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2018

Fatigue and disturbances of sleep in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta – a cross-sectional questionnaire study

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2018
Heidi Arponen, Janna Waltimo-Sirén, Helena Valta, Outi Mäkitie
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12891-017-1922-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Persisting fatigue has been reported to be a common complaint by individuals with connective tissue disorders, including Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). This controlled study evaluated in an adult OI population the subjective experience of fatigue, affecting daily life. Sleep disturbances and chronic pain were examined as hypothesized underlying factors.


This cross-sectional study analyzed the answers of 56 OI patients and 56 matched healthy controls to a questionnaire, designed to evaluate levels of experienced fatigue and bodily pain, as well as the presence or absence of symptoms related to sleep disturbances or sleep apnea. The relationships between fatigue, pain, and sleep disturbances were evaluated with correlation analysis and regression analysis.


Fatigue was reported by 96%, and daily pain by 87% of the individuals with OI. Notably, the level of fatigue was similarly experienced by patient respondents and controls. In total, 95% of the patients and 77% of the controls reported one to several sleep disturbance symptoms. These symptoms as well as previously diagnosed sleep apnea were statistically significantly more prevalent in the patient group than in the controls (p < 0.05). Likewise, the experienced bodily pain was statistically highly significantly more severe among the respondents with OI (p < 0.001), and correlated with the reported fatigue.


In comparison with age-matched controls, adults with OI do not differ in experienced fatigue, unlike hypothesized. Therefore, sleep disturbances, which based on the frequency of reported related symptoms and previous sleep apnea diagnoses appear to be common in OI patients, may remain undiagnosed.
Additional file 1: Fatigue and disturbances of sleep in patients with Osteogenesis imperfecta –survey questionnaire. (DOCX 102 kb)
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