The London fibromyalgia (FM) Epidemiology Study: direct health care costs of FM syndrome in London, Canada

OBJECTIVE: To estimate direct health care costs associated
with fibromyalgia (FM) within a representative community

METHODS: A random sample of 3395 noninstitutionalized
adults was screened for widespread pain. Individuals screening
positive were examined for FM. Direct health care costs were
compared among those with confirmed FM (FM cases, FC), those
with widespread pain not having FM (pain controls, PC),
controls without widespread pain (general controls, GC), and a
random sample of age, sex and geographically matched controls
from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan database (OHIP
controls, OC).

RESULTS: One hundred FC (86 women) were
compared to 76 PC subjects, 135 GC, and 380 OC. FC used more
medications and outpatient health services than PC subjects,
and about twice the health services at twice the cost compared
to GC and OC. The mean difference in direct costs for health
services between FC and OC was $493 Cdn annually (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: FM has a major effect on direct health care costs.

White KP, Speechley M, Harth M, Ostbye T

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