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ME/CFS Australia Ltd
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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


ME/CFS South Australia Inc aims to keep members informed of various research projects, diets, medications, therapies, news items, etc. All communication, both verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or directives.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed on this Web site are not necessarily the official views of the Society or its Committee and are not simply an endorsement of products or services.

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Cost of CFS to the US economy is substantial

June 21, 2004

CDCResearchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report today that Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) costs the US economy $9.1 billion per year in lost productivity.

Cost Effectiveness and Resource AllocationThe study, published in the Open Access journal, Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, is based upon a phone survey of 56,000 persons in Wichita, Kansas, followed by thorough medical evaluations of those who complained of unusual fatigue lasting a month or more.

CFS, also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) is a complex and debilitating condition that affects the brain and multiple body systems. CFIDS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina), pain in the joints and muscles, problems with concentration and short-term memory, numerous flu-like symptoms and relapse following even minimal physical or mental exertion.

The $9.1 billion estimate does not include health care costs or payment of disability benefits, which are likely to be substantial. The direct cost cited is equivalent to the financial losses caused by digestive system disorders and infectious and parasitic diseases.

According to the study authors, “The extent of the burden indicates that continued research to determine the cause of and potential therapies for CFS could provide substantial benefit both for individual patients and for the nation.”

This important study adds further evidence to the classification of CFIDS as a major public health concern. CFIDS affects approximately 800,000 US and disproportionately affects women, African-Americans and Hispanics, and people of less-than-college education and lower socioeconomic status. Studies of adolescents and children have been insufficient to document prevalence in younger populations; however, those under 18 are at less risk for developing CFS than adults.

CFIDS Association of AmericaWe’ve made it easy for you – just click here to go to an alert at the CFIDS Association of America where you will have the option of writing two separate letters.

You can write to CDC director Dr Julie Gerberding to thank her for the agency’s efforts to document the toll CFIDS takes on the individual and nation. And you can help spread the news of this study to the media. Coverage by your local newspapers and news stations will send a message to the public that CFIDS takes a serious toll – on the individual and our economy.

Don’t forget to use the Tell A Friend feature to help generate even more impact.

Thank you for participating in CFIDS advocacy. We value your support!

K. Kimberly McCleary
President & CEO
CFIDS Association of America

The economic impact of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Kenneth J Reynolds, Suzanne D Vernon, Ellen Bouchery, William C Reeves. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation. 2004, 2:4 Monday 21 June 2004.

This article is available free of charge according to the journal’s Open Access policy at:

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