CDC Confirmation

I stumbled on a toolkit for physician’s on the web site of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whilst researching for my RachelCreative blog post for International ME/CFS Awareness Day 2008 on 12th May (this coming Monday).

Within the overview I found some interesting bits that confirmed some things for me:

  • US Doctors are supposed to accept that CFS/ME/CFIDS is a real physiological illness
  • “After more than 3,000 research studies, there is now abundant scientific evidence that CFS is a real physiological illness. It is not a form of depression or hypochondriasis. A number of biologic abnormalities have been identified in people with CFS, but how they contribute to the illness is still unclear.”

  • US Doctors do have tools to diagnose CFS with
  • “Although there is no laboratory test or marker to identify CFS, there is an international case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome that provides a reliable diagnostic algorithm.”

What really blew me away was these statistics:

  • At least 1 million Americans have CFS. This illness strikes more Americans than multiple sclerosis, lupus, lung cancer or ovarian cancer.
  • Less than 20% of Americans with CFS have been diagnosed.

Most shocking of all:

  • The annual economic impact of chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States is estimated to be $9.1 billion in lost productivity, not including medical costs or disability payments.

 Absolutely staggering.

The stastics and quotes are all taken from the CDC’s “CFS Toolkit for Health Care Professionals“. Sections quoted in this post are from the Basic CFS Overview (PDF file).

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4 Responses to “CDC Confirmation”


  1. 1 Nina May 7, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Yeah, we became legitimate in the eyes of the CDC several year ago. BFD. They keep doing studies to determine how many of us have it. I mean they do these same studies every year for the past 5 yrs. Also, when it turned out that $$ set aside for CFS research had been “shifted” to another department, we tried to make a big stink about it. Nothing happened. IOW, it’s a beauraracy, just like the ones you and every other country has.

    Excuse the rant — I’m a bit tired and crabby today:-)

  2. 2 Connie May 8, 2008 at 1:11 am

    When I asked a rhuematologist if I had this he told me that CFS is an old term for Fibromyalgia. Really?? That’s news to me.

  3. 3 rachelcreative May 8, 2008 at 10:03 am

    It’s staggering that so many doctors are still so confused (I’m being polite here).

    Didn’t mean to get anyone worked up 😉

    I suppose it kind of makes me feel better that there’s clear government guidance in the US and (in a bad way) relieved that things are just as muddy and messed up in the US as in the UK.

    Sometimes I think US sufferers think the Brits have a better approach to this illness – but we’re just as messed up as the US when it comes to on the ground health care.

    Sigh.

  4. 4 Matthew May 9, 2008 at 9:15 am

    You might find these very interesting as well.
    “we’ve documented,as have others, that the level of functional impairment in people who suffer from CFS is comparable to M.S., AIDS, end stage renal failure…”


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