Leonard Jason, PhD, a leading ME/CFS researcher at DePaul University in Chicago, has published a statement of his concerns regarding the CDC’s June 8 report revising the U.S. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome prevalence rate to an estimated 2.54% - 6 to 10 times the rate identified in previous large population studies. One of these was a community-based study in Chicago led by Dr. Jason in 1999.
Dr. Jason’s statement – “Problems with the New CDC CFS Prevalence Estimates” – is featured on the International Association for CFS/ME website.
An Issue of Case Definition
In particular, Dr. Jason states, “It is at least possible that the 2.54% to 2.6% CFS rates [in] both the United States and Great Britain are due to a broadening of the case definition and possible inclusion of cases with primary psychiatric conditions.…CFS and depression are two distinct disorders, however, even if they share a number of common symptoms. Most importantly, the erroneous inclusion of people with primary psychiatric conditions in CFS samples will have detrimental consequences for the interpretation of both epidemiologic and treatment efficacy findings.”
Dr. Jason is an AICFS/ME board member, and Director of the Center for Community Research at DePaul, where his CFS-related studies focus on such issues as differential diagnosis and assessment, a pediatric case definition, and non-pharmacological treatment approaches. For more information about his work and objectives, see “Leonard Jason, PhD - ME/CFS Researcher and Bridge Builder.”