[Note: The full text of this newsletter & article is available in PDF format at (the Invest in ME website). It includes a chart illustrating, for example, that 42.1% of the ME/CFS patients’ blood relatives had diabetes, vs. 4.4% of their non-blood relatives (and less than 1% of the ME/CFS patients themselves); 14.9% of their blood relatives have fibromyalgia, vs. 2.6% of non-blood relatives; etc.]
Most research examining the family history of persons with ME/CFS has primarily investigated differences between individuals with ME/CFS and control groups without the illness.
Research examining differences between blood and non-blood relatives might contribute to understanding genetic and environmental etiologic factors.
The current study investigated the occurrence of five illnesses (i.e., diabetes, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS)among blood and non-blood relatives of individuals with ME/CFS.
Family history of medical illness was obtained from self report data completed by participants.
We determined the number of participants reporting a family history of diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and ME/CFS between the blood-related family members and non-blood-related family members of participants with ME/CFS.
There was a greater prevalence of diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS among blood relatives than non-blood relatives.
The findings of this study suggest that both genetic and environmental factors are associated with ME/CFS.
Source: The Journal of IiME [Invest in ME], 2008:2(2), 4-11. Njoku MG, Jason LA, DiPasquale L. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.