FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - CFS/ME Information - Who's At Risk?


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WHO'S AT RISK? Who's At Risk?

According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC), CFS/ME affects more than 1 million people in the United States. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, four in every 1000 Americans are affected by CFS/ME. CFS patients are denied insurance benefits and do not seek medical treatment.

This illness strikes more people in the United States than multiple sclerosis, lupus, lung cancer or ovarian cancer. According to a large 1999 US study, the highest rates of CFS/ME were found among women in general. Chronic fatigue is most often experienced by individuals 40 to 50 years old; it is least prevalent in people under 29 or over 60. This disorder, however, occurs in both sexes and at all ages and in all racial and ethnic groups.

Researchers continue to explore possible causes and risk factors for CFS/ME. Many questions remain, but there are some characteristics that may help indicate who is most at risk for CFS/ME:

  • CFS/ME occurs four times more frequently in women than in men, although people of either gender can develop the disease.

  • The illness occurs most often in people in their 40s and 50s, but people of all ages can get CFS/ME.

  • Children and adolescents are not immune to its effects. Most studies indicate that girls are more apt to develop CFS/ME than boys, although one study found the incidence of the syndrome to be equal. According to a 1999 study, half of the children and adolescents with CFS/ME also suffer psychiatric disorders, primarily anxiety, and also depression.

  • CFS/ME occurs in all ethnic and racial groups, and in countries around the world. Research indicates that CFS/ME is at least as common among African Americans and Hispanics as it is among Caucasians.

  • People of all income levels can develop CFS/ME.

  • CFS/ME is sometimes seen in members of the same family, but there's no evidence that it's contagious. Instead, there may be a familial or genetic link. Further research is needed to explore this.

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  • Ranjith G (2005). "Epidemiology of chronic fatigue syndrome." PMID 15699086.

  • Wyller VB (2007). "The chronic fatigue syndrome--an update". Acta neurologica Scandinavica. PMID 17419822.

  • Afari N, Buchwald D (2003). "Chronic fatigue syndrome: a review". Am J Psychiatr. PMID 12562565

  • "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Basic Facts" (htm). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (May 9, 2006). Retrieved on 2008-02-07.

  • Jason LA, Richman JA, Rademaker AW, Jordan KM, Plioplys AV, Taylor RR, McCready W, Huang CF, Plioplys S (1999). "A community-based study of chronic fatigue syndrome". Arch. Intern. Med. 159. PMID 10527290.

  • Centers For Disease Control (CDC), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Who's at Risk.
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