The epidemiology of self-reported fibromyalgia in Canada

Chronic Dis Can. 2006;27(1):9-16.


Fibromyalgia (FM) is a poorly understood condition characterized by chronic diffuse musculoskeletal pain. This study describes the self-reported epidemiology of FM in Canada using data collected from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.1 (2000). FM prevalence rates with corresponding 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated. The Canadian prevalence rate was 1.1 percent with a female-to-male ratio of six to one. In women, rates increased with age up to 65 years, declining thereafter. Data collected on-age-at- diagnosis is presented and demonstrates a surprising number of newly diagnosed FM cases among people in their 20s and 30s, signifying that FM is a problem for people of all ages. The association with FM and a number of sub-populations was also investigated. With respect to geography and environment, the FM prevalence rate in women was shown to be approximately two percent in all Canadian regions except Quebec, where it was 1.1 percent. Further analysis by language suggested that geographical and cultural differences might best explain this observation. Finally, an association with a number of behavioral and socioeconomic determinants of health, including weight, is presented.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Behavior
  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors