Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
Determined to paper the Internet with articles about ME, Jody Smith brings some additional focus to Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance on Aug. 8, 2017 ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Fivefold to eightfold increase in the incidence of ME from 1980 to 1989

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Hip, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    In the 1980s, there was a huge increase in the incidence of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) .

    Indeed, this huge increase became a major concern for disability insurance companies in the US, who as a consequence became obliged to fork out billions extra to cover disability payments for this massive wave of new ME patients.

    This surge of new ME cases in the 1980s seemingly prompted the government in the US, in cahoots with the disability insurance industry, to create the spurious disease classification of chronic fatigue syndrome, which was very likely set up in a Machiavellian fashion as a condition having a psychological causal component (unlike the existing and otherwise identical disease category of ME, which was and is classified as purely neurological).

    The fact that the definition of CFS included possible psychological causes was enough to let the disability insurance companies off the hook, in regards to paying billions in disability support to chronically sick ME patients. Using this newly-created disease of CFS, disability insurance companies could now refuse to provide disability support to ME patients, who were now re-labelled as CFS patients.

    They could refuse to provide disability support because regulations are such that although insurance companies are obliged to provide lifetime disability support for chronic crippling physical diseases and conditions, they do not need to provide long-term disability payouts for psychological conditions.

    So the invention of the duplicate disease classification of chronic fatigue syndrome helped the disability insurance industry to duck out of paying ME patients disability support, thus saving these insurance companies billions in the wake of this surge in ME incidence in the 1980s.

    And of course, although the disability insurance industry's Machiavellian manipulations was only designed to save them money and maintain their profits, the result of inappropriately relabelling ME as CFS, with CFS's psychologically-flavored etiology, had huge repercussions beyond the disability insurance industry's profit-protection ruse.

    As medical science started to erroneously reclassify ME as this "all in the mind" condition of CFS, doctors would often no longer treat ME patients seriously. And biomedical research into ME risked falling into the doldrums, as medical professionals, duped like everybody else by the disability insurance industry, incorrectly viewed ME as having a psychological rather than physiological cause.

    (Note that disability insurance is also called: disability income insurance, or income protection).



    Here are Some References for this Increase in ME Incidence in the 1980s:

    This article by Dr Elizabeth Dowsett and Dr John Richardson states that for ME there was:
    Here is says:
    The original source for that statement is an article by Dr Elizabeth Dowsett, entitled "Research into ME 1988 - 1998 Too much PHILOSOPHY and too little BASIC SCIENCE!".

    This article by Dr Elizabeth Dowsett mentions:
    An article by Professor Hooper, et al states:
    On page 655 of Hillary Johnson's book Osler's Web, it says:
    With a 500% increase in ME/CFS cases (which would require a lifetime of disability payouts), you can see the incentive for insurance companies like UNUM to cheat, and to manipulate the system so that they can avoid making these payouts.




    Here are Some References that Suggest the Disability Insurance Industry Very Likely Manipulated the CDC and Encouraged Bogus Medical Research in a Machiavellian Fashion:

    Hillary Johnson, in her book Osler's Web, says the following about the creation of the CFS category:

    This blog article is also interesting:

    And I thought the following comment posted on this Medscape article (free login required) was very telling:
    Note: The original Swiss Re Insurance webpage where Peter White makes the above comment has been archived here.

    Some more articles on the CFS disease category psychologizing the illness for insurance purposes are found here:
    Updated U.S. Illness Codes Perpetuate Medical Ignorance of ME/CFS
    ME/CFS: TERMINOLOGY — Margaret Williams
    Who benefits from 'CFS' and 'ME/CFS'?



    Could the Increased Use of Pesticides Have Created the 1980s Explosion in ME/CFS Cases?

    OK, the Machiavellian manipulations of government and medical science pulled off by the disability insurance industry are one thing; but another issue is, what actually caused this huge increase in ME incidence in the 1980s, assuming it was a real increase, and not just an increase in diagnosis?

    What could have caused a 5 to 8-fold worldwide increase in the incidence of ME? That is an enormous increase.

    One factor that I have singled out as a possible culprit is the large increase in pesticide usage that occurred from the 1960 to 1980. This increase is shown in the graph here:

    Pesticide usage in the US.png
    Source: here.​

    Studies have shown that pesticide exposure significantly increases the risk of developing ME (ref: 1). In one study, farmers using organophosphate-based "sheep dip" in Scotland were found to have rates of ME four times higher than the national average (ref: 1). So this study suggests major exposure to organophosphates increases the risk developing ME by 4 times.

    Pyrethroid pesticides have been linked to ME as well (ref: 1).

    Organochlorine pesticides such as DDT and dieldrin have also been linked to ME (refs: 1 2), but most organochlorines have been banned for several decades now.

    So the significant increase in pesticide usage that peaked in the 1980s and has remained high ever since might explain the huge increase in ME incidence in the 1980s that has also remained high ever since.

    Though might there have been some other environmental factors that appeared or greatly increased in during 1970s or 1980s that could have been responsible for this large increase in the incidence of ME cases during this era?


    Interestingly enough, the following graph from the California Department of Development Services shows that autism rates also shot up during the 1980s:

    In California, the incidence of autism appear to shoot up in the 1980s:
    2002-10califautism.gif



    Another possible cause of the 1980s explosion in ME/CFS cases might be the introduction of the polio vaccine in the late 1950s: see here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
    Philipp, jepps, waiting and 9 others like this.
  2. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

    Messages:
    175
    Likes:
    526
    For what it's worth, I was living amid a large farm when I got hit with this, in 2009 though. The farm's been a farm though for generations, so I don't know what this means for the soil and the ground (and well?) water.

    One of my dogs died prematurely too, and so I've wondered about that as well. No way to know though... (but of course you wonder if you did all you could to keep them (and yourself) safe!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    Messages:
    4,613
    Likes:
    12,435
    South Australia
    If you aren't looking, you won't see. I don't think the underlying prevalence has changed much.
     
    M Paine, beaker, barbc56 and 8 others like this.
  4. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

    Messages:
    841
    Likes:
    2,960
    There are loads of things, I bet correlative graphs would seem to tie in with many things.

    The 80s were a bit of a boom time for developed capitalistic nations, we got exposed on so many levels to so many things in big ways.

    Air travel
    Car ownership (lead)
    Vaccinations
    Personal computers
    Mass consumerism of foodstuffs
    Wireless technology
    Nuclear everything
    Rise of plastics
    Psychiatric medications wholesale

    And many many more.
     
    taniaaust1, merylg, alex3619 and 2 others like this.
  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,257
    Likes:
    17,984
    Yes, more likely an increase in the diagnostic rate than the incidence.

    But who knows at this point?
     
    skipskip30, merylg, Esther12 and 2 others like this.
  6. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,050
    Likes:
    5,354
    I think that I have seen this theory expressed in relation to early outbreaks of polio in, I think, California and Ohio, though I may be wrong and do not at present have energy to check. The outbreaks coincided with crop or orchard spraying. Who knows?

    Was not the hypothesis that although many are exposed to the virus those who go down with the illness have been exposed to some co factor? I recently read the theory that FDR must have been exposed to the polio virus weeks before his icy swim must have compromised the immune system and immediately caused his illness.

    Clearly there has been an increase in diagnosis under the CFS criteria but that would not account for the increase in the 1980s. In 1980/81 the consultant physician in a large General Hospital, who also had a private practice, said to me that he knew of only one possibly similar case.
     
    Skippa likes this.
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,895
    Likes:
    12,702
    Sth Australia
    It is completely normal for certain diseases to every now and them go into epidemics so it is probable that ME is just like other diseases. In the early 1950s and for a period on for several years, from my previous researches on ME epidemics I believe was one of our worst outbreaks in several places in the world.

    We had two outbreaks in different states of Australia in the 1950s.. one which was in the area where my grandmother lives (my grandmother has FM, IBS and other things.. and me and 3 other affected with ME/CFS family members can all genetically link our ME/CFS back to her and 3 of her sons.. could she be a carrier of ME/CFS after the outbreak?? never to develop ME/CFS but only to end up with FM?)
     
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    I am interested in how pesticide exposure significantly increases the risk of developing ME/CFS, as in the year just prior to catching the suspected enterovirus that I think played a major role in triggering my ME/CFS, I also suffered a rather nasty chronic exposure to the organophosphate pesticide Malathion inside the house where I live.

    A significant amount of a 500 ml bottle of Malathion was spilled on the floor inside my house, when the bottle was accidentally knocked over, and it was not properly cleaned up, as the person using it apparently had no idea that pesticides can be dangerous chemicals.

    Malathion is particularly insidious if a significant quantity is spilt in an indoor environment (such as a house, workplace, garage or barn), because although the pesticide toxicity class of Malathion is relatively low, one of the breakdown products of Malathion called Malaoxon is 1,000 times more toxic than the original Malathion, in terms of its acetylcholinesterase activity (ref: 1).

    So for example, if you spilt say 100 ml of Malathion in an indoor environment, where this chemical cannot easy be dispersed by wind or rain and so remains in situ, then as it breaks down into the much more toxic Malaoxon, it is as if you had spilt 1,000 x 100 ml = 10 liters of pesticide in the indoor environment!

    With the equivalent of 10 liters of pesticide floating around in your home or workplace, contaminating the indoor air and surfaces, it is not surprising that it can seriously affect your health, as it did mine at the time.

    Malathion is the toxic pesticide that keeps on giving!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
    taniaaust1, helen1 and ahmo like this.
  9. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes:
    4,466
    Of course, back in the 80's there was a commensurate rise in the incidence of Lyme disease in the United States.
     
    Dufresne likes this.
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    That seems to be Simon Wessely's view. In this paper he says:
     
    taniaaust1 and Dufresne like this.
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    Just quoting random things does not really help. If you want to find an environmental factor whose rise matches the rise in ME/CFS cases in the 1980s, you need to identify an environmental factor that significantly increased in the 1970s and 1980s, and then from the 1980 onwards, has remained at a high level ever since.

    That then will match the increase in reported ME/CFS cases during the 1980s — an increase in cases which has remained high ever since.

    That environmental factor should also be one known to cause neurological or immunological damage or dysfunction, and ideally one that has been linked to ME/CFS.

    Pesticides fit all those requirements.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
    helen1 likes this.
  12. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,340
    Likes:
    6,526
    Northcoast NSW, Australia
  13. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes:
    4,466
    Lyme fits the bill. It is known to cause neurological and/or immunological damage. And - in the US at least - it meshes chronologically with the topic of this thread and the dramatic increases in ME/CFS incidence as well.

    Whether one believes in the Lyme connection or not, it is an intriguing correlation.
     
    helen1 and Mel9 like this.
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    Would you happen to have any references for this? I've heard that Lyme is on the increase over the last decade or so, but had not heard about the large increases in the 1980s.



    I would think more along the lines that an environment factor such as increased pesticide usage may have been responsible for both the large increase in ME/CFS during the 1980s, as well as the increase in Lyme cases that you say occurred in the same decade.

    My hunch has always been that ME/CFS is not caused by an infectious pathogen alone, but is caused by an infectious pathogen plus additional factors such pesticide or mold exposure. Those additional factors may for example increase the risk of developing autoimmune reactions, and/or might cause some immune dysfunction that makes it harder for the body to fight off the pathogen.
     
    Dufresne, Mel9 and duncan like this.
  15. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes:
    28,522
    Figures before the 1990s are likely to be a complete mess. I'd be interested to know what's happened to prevalence since then, but have never seen any good data on this.
     
    barbc56 and Sean like this.
  16. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes:
    4,466
    @Hip ,the rate of Lyme incidence was likely higher than the rise in ME/CFS during the '80's. Remember, it was a newly minted disease, not unlike HIV.

    The accuracy of reporting was likely problematic, as it still is, but that also holds true for ME/CFS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  17. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,344
    Likes:
    14,625
    I think we can pretty certain that there was a large increase in diagnosed ME/CFS cases during the 1980s, otherwise the disability insurance industry would not have been so worried about the many billions it would have had to pay out for this wave of new ME/CFS patients (they got out of paying by creating "chronic fatigue syndrome").
     
    Sean and Mel9 like this.
  18. Deltrus

    Deltrus Senior Member

    Messages:
    269
    Likes:
    349
    @Hip would one time exposure to diazinon have a harmful effect? Also how long does it take to get delayed neuropathy from this stuff?

    Also what the fuck insurance companies. No wonder so many diseases were considered "psychological". That is so unbelievably disgusting.
     
  19. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes:
    28,522
    Yeah, but that doesn't tell us much about incidence. As a political and financial matter we can certainly say 'CFS' became a more of an issue through that period.
     
    barbc56, taniaaust1 and Sean like this.
  20. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes:
    5,049
    USA
    @Hip, association is not proof of causation.
     
    barbc56 likes this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page