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(2007) Prevalence estimates of CFS, FM, MCS from the Canadian Community Health Survey

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Snow Leopard, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Australia
    I didn't know about this study until now, but this is a paper from the Statistics Canada Health reports publication:
    http://statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2006001/article/sympt/82-003-x2006002-eng.pdf

    This is part of the results of the 2003 Canadian Community Health survey, which had 135,573 respondents, (household response rate of 80.6%) and covered anyone over 12 in each household.

    All health conditions were self-reported only. The prevalence was 1.3% for CFS, 1.5% for FMS and 2.4% for MCS.

    36% of people reporting CFS also had depression.
    (further discussed here: http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/6/414.full - I've just skimmed it, but variables such as financial strain were strong predictors).

    In comparison, the rate of depression for MS patients in an earlier Canadian survey was 25.7% for those in the 18 to 45 year old range. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14663036

    Note that even if the remaining 19.4% who did not respond were included and assumed not to be have CFS, the lower bound on the prevalence would still be somewhere around 1%.
  2. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    I wonder what definitions were used to diagnose these chronic fatigue syndrome respondents. The Canadian Consensus Criteria had been published four years earlier.

    Respondents were asked about 'long-term health conditions that have lasted or are expected to last six months or more and that have been diagnosed by a health professional.' Interviewers read a list of conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chemical sensitivities. Respondents who answered positively to at least one of these three conditions were classified as suffering from MUPS (medically unexplained physical symptoms).
  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    I wonder too, but the reality is that it is likely to be an uncontrolled mix.

    I just found these numbers interesting as this is the largest population based study (though not the most rigorous) that I have seen.
    WillowJ likes this.
  4. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I have seen studies that following from this. I haven't been convinced that a lot of these are anything close to "proper" CFS patients. A lot of people with the condition won't know they have CFS (studies in the US came up with figures of only 9% (Jason/Chicago) and 16%/18% (?) (CDC) having a diagnosis) i.e. suggesting a prevalence figure quite a bit higher again. I feel a lot of these are just people who said they had it when it was suggested to them in the questionnaire.
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  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I have been thinking about prevalence lately. All the dodgy definitions and medical misdiagnoses could be hiding something nasty. I know some experts have been saying that CFS and ME are not on the increase. In Australia it has been said several times recently that there are now 250,000 CFS patients, a little over 1%. This figure used to be under 100,000. If this is not due to error, or misdiagnoses, it might indicate a doubling period for prevalence at about decade, give or take a few years. This is all speculation though, as the confusion around this issue is huge.

    However, if it is doubling every ten years, then by 2022 we can expect 2% of the population, 2032 it could be 4%, 2042 it could be 8%. It was first shown to be communicable in 1955 when it was transfered to monkeys here in Australia via blood infusion, even though the transmitting agent was never firmly identified. At what point will there be too many sick and disabled people for governments to continue this charade of ignoring ME? 16%? 32%? What will the cost to society be when 64% of the population is disabled?

    Please note that if ME requires certain genetic predispositions there may be a ceiling to the prevalence rate beyond which it cannot go.

    Against this we have the apparent lack of epidemics during the last decade. Why is this? There has been some speculation on this but we just don't know. We need better funded and more reasoned research.

    Bye
    Alex
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