New CDC Survey Exposes Shocking Rise in Chronic Fatigue Cases
Wellness

New CDC Survey Exposes Shocking Rise in Chronic Fatigue Cases

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released findings from a recent survey revealing a surge in Americans reporting chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

According to the survey, an eye-popping 1.3% of Americans — all told, 4.3 million people — have been told by their doctors that they are suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. This number significantly surpasses the CDC’s previous estimate of 836,000 to 2.5 million affected individuals, nearly doubling even the most generous estimates.

What’s truly alarming is that a whopping 90% of those facing this condition have not yet received a formal diagnosis. They’ve simply been told by their doctors that they “might” have CFS because they are suffering from the symptoms. The economic impact of this undiagnosed CFS is staggering. The CDC estimates an annual total cost to the American economy ranging from $17 to $24 billion in medical expenses and lost income.

The 2021–2022 survey, which included 57,133 American adults, indicates a sharp increase in reported cases of CFS. Some experts suggest the surge may be tied to the aftermath of so-called “long COVID,” a term encompassing persistent effects following acute COVID-19 infection.

Defining CFS has proven challenging. The condition is somewhat elusive due to multiple definitions and its status as a syndrome rather than a disease.

The CDC’s demographic breakdown reveals some intriguing patterns:

  • Women report CFS/ME more frequently than men, with a rate of 1.7% compared to 0.9%.
  • Rural areas show a higher prevalence of CFS/ME cases.
  • Individuals with incomes below the federal poverty level are more likely to have CFS/ME (2.0%) than those at or above that level (1.1%).
  • White non-Hispanic adults exhibit a higher prevalence (1.5%) than Asian non-Hispanic (0.7%) and Hispanic individuals (0.8%).

The reliance on self-reporting and respondent memories in the survey raises skepticism for some experts. Some have questioned the study’s accuracy, wondering if it reflects popular self-diagnosis trends rather than actual cases of CFS. 

Notably, the survey reveals an unexpected demographic trend, with the highest number of reported CFS cases occurring in individuals aged 60 to 69, contrary to previous reports.

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