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latest information on research, treatment and diagnosis of CFS and related
survey has found that women with endometriosis are more likely to have chronic
fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS
than the general female population in the United States
The results, presented in February
National Institutes of Health, were based on a 1998 survey by the Endometriosis
Association. The group polled 3,680 women who had surgically diagnosed
endometriosis, a painful disease in which tissue that normally grows in the
uterus begins to grow elsewhere in the body.
As part of the survey, the association
asked participants whether they suffered from other medical conditions,
CFIDS and fibromyalgia. Thirty-one
percent of the respondents said they had one or both of the conditions, compared
to less than 10 percent of the overall population.
Researchers have long suspected a
connection between endometriosis and
this survey is the first comprehensive piece of data to confirm the link.
Researchers don’t know why the two conditions co-exist — but they speculate that
CFIDS may arise from the pain caused by
PWCs show reduced peak oxygen
CFIDS (PWCs) cannot use as much oxygen during
exercise — and may have less total blood volume — than healthy test subjects,
according to new research from Harvard Medical School. These two factors could
combine to create or worsen the intolerance to exercise that is a hallmark of
The researchers compared the performance
17 PWCs (average age: 39) with those of 17 healthy controls (average age: 36) on
an exercise test that involved pedaling a stationary bicycle to exhaustion.
Results showed that the PWCs were able to use about 35 percent less oxygen at
the peak of their exercise test than the control subjects.
In addition, the PWCs showed total
volumes that were about nine percent less than the control subjects, although
these results were not strong enough to reach statistical significance. Having
less blood in their bodies, and less oxygen in their blood, can combine to make
PWCs less able to exercise without worsening fatigue, the authors
The authors also say that PWCs may
caught in a “potential vicious cycle” where their lower exercise levels cause
even greater fatigue and deconditioning. The study was published in the
American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology (Vol.
New Jersey has become the
first state in the nation to publish a comprehensive guide to the treatment of
people with CFIDS. The publication, A
Consensus Manual for the Primary Care and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
(CFS), will be mailed to more than 14,000 physicians across the state — and
will be made available to others across the country in print and electronic
The manual was created at the urging
New Jersey Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association (NJCFSA). The association and
support groups across the state worked for more than four years to convince
legislators and public health officials to fund the 73-page manual, which cost
more than $95,000 to produce and mail.
“There’s nothing out there like it,”
Jon Sterling, former head of the NJCFSA and now chairman of the Board of
Directors of The
CFIDS Association of America.
“We wanted to create something that would help physicians diagnose and treat
patients, and that’s what we’ve done.”
The manual contains 13 chapters, covering
broad range of
CFIDS-related topics. Among the
- Pathophysiology in CFS;
- Initiating Care of Patients with
- Infections in CFS;
- Cognitive Dysfunction in CFS;
- Pain in CFS.
The manual is published by The Academy
and The New
Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. The
and Dentistry of New Jersey
is also credited on the manual. It is edited by Joseph F. John Jr., MD. James M.
Oleske, MD, MPH, is associate editor.
said the manual
creates a standard of care for doctors who treat people with
CFIDS. In addition to giving doctors guidelines
for treatment, the manual also will help patients and physicians convince
insurance companies to cover a variety of treatments that they might otherwise
refuse to pay for.
The manual is scheduled to be released
online soon on the Web site of the state department of health,
. The manual also will be
distributed by The Academy of Medicine of New
. For more information, call the academy at
Editor’s note: The cover
of this edition of The CFIDS Chronicle,
“The role of infection in CFIDS,”
was adapted from the New
Jersey manual. An excerpt from a chapter on
interviewing patients with CFIDS
also appears in this issue of The CFS Research Review, on p. 8.
An article in the winter 2002 issue of The
Chronicle contained an error. The story
on p. 13 should have stated that natural killer cell activity often decreases in
the immune systems of people with CFIDS