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Recurrence of Chronic Fatigue in Women

Review on June 12, 2007

A large amount of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) research is based on information about patients from primary or tertiary care locations. The research performed by Dr. Jason from DePaul University involved an assessment of people with CFS from a community-based study.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was released as a diagnostic category during the last decade. Several preceding investigations suggested that CFS was a relatively rare disorder with a high level of frequency in working white men. Many physicians minimized the seriousness of this condition and also interpreted the syndrome as being equivalent to a psychiatric disorder. These approaches had negative consequences for the treatment of CFS. To make clear these presumptions, Dr. Jason and his team performed a community-based investigation to learn the real facts regarding CFS.

Chronic fatigue symptoms

Specialists from various universities (including DePaul University, University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, among others) guided by Dr. Jason tried to assess the rate of prolonged fatigue and fatigue in a socio-economically and ethnically diverse sample; and to determine the relative frequency of prolonged fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome across ethnicity, socio-economic status and gender.

To reach this, the investigators studied a sample of 28,673 subjects in Chicago, Illinois, whom were questioned by telephone. Those with CFS-like symptoms were then medically analyzed. Dr Jason and his team also utilized methods such as self-report questionnaires, psychiatric evaluations, and complete medical inspections with laboratory testing which were then used to diagnose patients with CFS.

They paid attention to the most significant symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) which is chronic fatigue, it is accompanied by various blends of other symptoms, including sore throat, muscle pains, restless sleep, and many more.

The approach most used to analyze the data provided by the sources mentioned above was a statistical technique that delineated the global rate of CFS in this population, and its relative prevalence was subcategorized by sex, ethnic identification, age, and socioeconomic status. Also, socioeconomic subgroups were evaluated amid symptom severity, functional disability, coping, optimism, perceived stress, and psychiatric comorbidity.

This investigation undertaken by Dr. Jason and colleagues achieved the following results: There was a 65.1% completion rate for the telephone interviews during the first phase of the study. Discoveries indicated that CFS occurs in about 0.42% of this random community-based sample. The highest levels of CFS were consistently found amid women, minority groups, and persons with lower levels of education and occupational status.

The research additionally found that women, non-white, and unemployed individuals with CFS showed higher levels of disability, symptom intensity, and poorer psychosocial functioning. Contrary to previous research, the current investigation concluded that men, white, and working people in urban locations are not as prone to suffer CFS as the individuals mentioned above.

Note: This article has been adapted from a news release issued by JAMA and Archives Journals.

  • JASON, Leonard, PhD. Et al. A Community-Based Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • HEIM et al. Early Adverse Experience and Risk for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Results From a Population-Based Study. 2006.
  • SOLOMON and REEVES. Factors Influencing the Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 2004
  • Afari and Buchwald. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Review. 2003.