Family illnesses among people with ME/CFS: Blood versus non-blood relatives – Source: The Journal of IiME, 2008

[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.

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2 thoughts on “Family illnesses among people with ME/CFS: Blood versus non-blood relatives – Source: The Journal of IiME, 2008”

  1. Svette_Palme says:

    Thats a great idea for a study. I think it might support the theory of chronic pain being a brain-oriented disorder, such as sensory processing pain disorder.

    My reasoning is that if blood relatives have this problem more often than non-blood relatives, it points to a “brain type” that might be more susceptable to sensory processing disorders.

  2. Simi2 says:

    I always thought this to be true but they used to say no genetic link however I have ME contracted at about 42 years, my daughter has it contracted at uni aged 22, my niece (my sister’s child) has it aged 18 now 26, my nephew my other sister’s son )was severely affected he had it at 14 maybe earlier and is 26 and still ill though now at Oxford. Now sadly my lively healthy grandson went to Egypt 18 months ago and he was very ill with some kind of enteroviral and he now has ME, though not typical and a permananent headache, was disabled by it but now improving. My daughter in law, no blood relation obviously has fibromyalgia, my son 43, has diabetes. All looks very suspicious.

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