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 New Prevalence Statistics for CFS Released by CDC 
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Post New Prevalence Statistics for CFS Released by CDC
New Prevalence Statistics for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Released by CDC

Researchers have been trying to accurately estimate the prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for more than a decade.

In the early 1990s, CFS was thought to be a rare condition.
In 1993, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that there were fewer than 20,000 people with CFS in the United States (prevalence range .002-.0073 percent).
By the late 1990s, researchers used community-based samples to estimate that the prevalence of CFS was closer to .42 percent or 800,000 people in the U.S.
In 2003, the CDC reported that another community-based sample revealed CFS prevalence was actually .24 percent.
In 1997, researchers from Great Britain claimed community samples indicated CFS prevalence was 2.6 percent. If the Great Britain rates were applied to the U.S. population, more than 4 million people in the U.S. would have CFS.

As you can see, the estimates cover a vast range (from 20,000 to 4 million people). Which estimate is closer to being correct? New prevalence statistics released by the CDC in June 2007, derived from a community-based study in Georgia, estimate that 2.54 percent have CFS. That's nearly 10 times the previously reported estimate from the CDC.

An editorial posted on the website of The International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, written by Leonard Jason, Ph.D., suggests the CDC has changed how it defines CFS and that has opened up who is being counted. Dr. Jason suggests that people with "high chronic distress and illness" may have been included rather than carving CFS out as a unique disorder. People with primary psychiatric conditions may have been included as researchers screened for people who reported that they experience fatigue, memory or concentration problems, pain, or unrefreshing sleep. The spike in prevalence statistics may simply be a result of how CFS is defined.


Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:18 pm
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