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Wessley and White at work again

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by shrewsbury, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Press release before publication of story:
    Ethnic minorities are 'silent sufferers' of chronic fatigue syndrome

    story to be published soon:
    Chronic fatigue syndrome in an ethnically diverse population: the influence of psychosocial adversity & physical inactivity
    Kamaldeep S Bhui, Sokratis Dinos, Deborah Ashby, James Nazroo, Simon Wessely, and Peter D White
    BMC Medicine (in press)

    Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

    Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.
  2. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Yeah and like oh, multiple sclerosis is associated with hysterical females, isn't it? NOTHING to do with people in High/low lattitudes....
    They are a broken freakin' record, ugh
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Can't say those of us in these parts are what they choose to call "ethnic minorities". Dangerous these Psychos and getting worse. Oh perhaps I should tell them I've three heads a green face and twenty fingers on my left hand - they might have to adjust their "statistics". Seriously - are they running out of things to do.
  4. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Sofa, UK
    Oh how they twist and turn...

    Or as Private Eye might say...

    "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. An Apology. We wish to apologise for our earlier reports which may have given the impression that chronic fatigue syndrome is a rare psychosomatic condition mainly affecting white, middle class women with an 'all or nothing' approach to life and a tendency to exercise too hard, who then get sick and end up lounging around, complaining loudly, obsessing about their health, and making constant trips to their doctors pretending to be ill. Having invented yet another new definition of the syndrome, we now accept that, on the contrary, chronic fatigue syndrome is a very real and extremely widespread illness, mainly affecting poor ethnic minorities who don't have enough friends and don't do enough exercise, leading to extreme tiredness and headaches which they suffer in silence and don't tell their doctors about. We hope this clarification clears up any confusion our earlier research may have caused. Much more research, though, is obviously needed...preferably by us."

    Nope, at this rate, I don't think they'll ever run out of things to do...they have a whole new narrative to concoct now, and a whole new population to denigrate...and they now have five times as many candidates for their CBT sessions as they had before. They could go on diluting the ME population with tired people like this for ever, or until the entire population is sick and tired of hearing that there's 'no evidence' that anything except a series of conversations with psychologists can help them...
  5. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    PS: BioMed, my arse.
  6. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I have to say, I stopped reading after this statement because my overwhelming thought was "piss off". Ethnicity has nothing to do with ME. Depression, lack of exercise or social support and social difficulties are not major risk factors they are the result of the illness. Raging stupidity. Face palm. Epic fail. Morons.
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I've seen several studies reporting that being more active than normal is a risk factor for CFS, and several reporting that doing less than normal is a risk factor. Maybe one day they'll do a study which shows doing exactly the average ammount of activity is a risk factor for CFS. I expect that would be taken as evidence of a behavioural cause for CFS too.

    Haven't there been other studies showing CFS is not related to ethniicity? I'm surprised they bothered with a press release for this.
  8. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    Problem with defining the illness?

    I am surprised that Wesseley is using CFS in his article and not ME.
    In London, we tend to talk about ME more. For them, both conditions are two different entities. CFS is psychosomatic. ME is neurologic. I am probably mistaking?
  9. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    :Retro smile:

    Here's a comment in reply to another paper Peter White was the co-author of.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/6/53/comments
  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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  11. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    I find it so appalling that they spend time, energy and lots of money on such nonsense.
    What does it accomplish? What have we learned that could possibly mean anything?
    Who cares, anyway?
    I can't believe reviewers take the time to look at this, and comment on it the way they do.
    Their job must be so boring...

    BOOOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!
  12. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Risk factor is one those terms that gets used in variable ways. Its quite clear that smoking tobacco is a risk factor in lung cancer that is if you smoke, there are well understood disease processes that take place, which greatly enhance the probability you will develop a carcinoma. In contrast, in diseases that are not well understood, risk factor is used as a short hand for an association which if observed to be present may increase the probability that disease x will develop.

    In this second sense its quite possible that doing less and doing more would be risk factors simply because the statistical norm will vary between study populations. To make sense of the role of activity as a predisposing factor, a whole range of variables would need to be addressed: age at onset, type of onset, pre onset history, age at assessment etc.


    The question would be what range/specificity of ethnicity is being looked at. If it is accepted that gender is a predisposing factor, then there must also be grounds to consider that ethnicity could also be an issue in susceptibility to M.E/CFS. It would actually be very interesting to see prevalence rates by both gender and ethnicity, across cultural and national boundaries because any difference would likely indicate diagnosis bias on the basis of gender.

    Ethnicity studies really need to be carried out across National boundaries because minority populations can have significant lifestyle differences compared to both the majority in the country of citizenship, and (if it exists) the country/countries of comparable ethnic majority. African Americans for example experience a substantial negative disparity in good health compared to the majority population, this disparity may be a result of genetic differences but economic disadvantage is also likely to play a role.

    If ethnicity is shown comprehensively to have no role in M.E/CFS prevalence, but gender does continue to have a role, then that would say something very significant about the condition i.e that the genetics of gender, or alternatively gender specific morphology, has a particular role in susceptibility to M.E/CFS. If gender specificity really is involved it raises some very interesting questions about the role of infective agents to date no infective entity has shown a preference for human male or female cells, (always allowing that some structures are not shared by both genders).

    IVI
  13. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Our results show that CFS is more common amongst the physically inactive, those with social difficulties and with poor social support, and ethnic minorities, especially in the Pakistani group studied, and that they are silently suffering."

    I would suggest that is an important statement for health planners and adminstrators - the study is saying the service isn't working properly and is in effect 'discriminatory'. Of course there's irony in that there's sod all real help available to any of us, but that is a separate issue. At the very least this study should add to the 'prevalence' data for the UK, which is a small gain for everyone.

    IVI
  14. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    The immune response can be very different depending on gender. Sex steroids have powerful immunomodulating characteristics which influence this. Women also experience a period of profound immunosuppression during pregnancy.
  15. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Those points are significant when dealing with autoimmunity (and more rarely issues of hetero immunity) but it's quite clear that human males and females have the same general level of susceptibility to all known infectious organisms. Women/girls are not getting cholera or typhoid or measles more often than men/boys - so although there may be differences in how the immune systems of males/females act, they have the same kill rate for all known infections. The gender imbalance is an issue that would have to be addressed if XMRV or some other infection were shown to be widely causative of M.E/CFS.

    One can of course hypothesise on what the characteristics of a semi gender selective infection might be, but we are talking about new to science territory and there would be very stong evolutionary pressures against such a disease - killing off half the population amounts to anihilation of that species if the half that dies is essntial to reproduction, so the nature of the disease would have to be consistently non virulent bordering on passive.

    IVI
  16. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    Right. It's not a question of rate of infection, but rather what disease and what symptoms manifest as a result of infection with that pathogen. Symptoms of most infections are mediated by the immune system's response to the pathogen, not the pathogen itself.

    An example would be hepatitis B and C. The rate of infection of hepatitis is equal in men and women. However, the consequences of that infection most definitely are not equal: men have a two to eightfold higher risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, as a result of differences in the immune system's response due to gender.

    So, gender differences in the immune response can be highly significant when dealing with infections and their sequelae.
  17. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    And they know these "silently suffering" people aren't suffering from primary depression...how, exactly?
  18. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    Yeah this statement is just fundamentally incorrect. Here's another good example, more closely related to XMRV/CFS: HTLV-I associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis progresses significantly faster in women and they have higher HTLV-1 proviral loads.

    Gender influence on the progression of HTLV-I associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis
  19. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    They've provided yet more solid evidence that what they're studying is depression, not ME/CFS, because the risk factors they cite ARE risk factors for depression.

    It would be quite simple to get a similar epidemiological profile for any disease. All you have to do is make up your own case definition for the disease, which includes people who are only depressed and excludes people who have the actual symtoms of the disease. Employing this easy method, you can demonstrate epidemiologically that cancer or Parkinson's or toenail fungus is a somatoform disorder.

    Serious epidemiologists should rise up and drum them out of the corps.
  20. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    It's not what they are trying to find that bothers me, it's how they go about it.
    We know that some ethnicities or gender are more genetically predisposed to certain diseases.
    I'm sure all of us could name a few, so it would be a plus to find out if ME/CFS is more predominant in certain regions or populations. The real problem here is how they denigrate the poor people they are investigating and they are implying that CFS is more seen in very poor regions, low intellect people without a job, etc. We all know ME is a neurological disease. They are trying to give ME a really bad name and add to the psychosomatic belief.
    It reminds me of a disease (can't remember what it was ! - could someone help me here?) that you could only catch in filthy places/houses...
    It turned out to be false. It had nothing to do with that and they ostracized a whole bunch of people because of it.

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