Monday, November 2, 2009

A new policy for CFS

Source: New York Times
Date:   October 31, 2009

A new health policy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Re 'A Case of Chronic Denial,' by Hillary Johnson (Op-Ed, Oct. 21),
about chronic fatigue syndrome:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one
million to four million people in the United States have chronic
fatigue syndrome, with approximately 80 percent of these cases
undiagnosed. Furthermore, the C.D.C. has indicated that chronic
fatigue syndrome is a debilitating illness with a yearly economic
impact of at least $9.1 billion.

Despite its prevalence, morbidity and economic impact, chronic
fatigue syndrome ranks near the bottom in federal research funding
of more than 200 diseases and conditions.

In 25 years of research on chronic fatigue syndrome, no
demonstrable progress has been made in identifying objective
criteria for diagnosis and treatment. Nor have physicians been
properly educated to care for these patients.

The illness continues to be stigmatized as frank malingering or a
nonserious psychiatric disorder. It is time for a thorough
overhaul of public health policy toward this debilitating illness.

Fred Friedberg
Stony Brook, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2009
The writer is president of the International Association for
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

(c) 2009 New York Times

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