Chronic fatigue syndrome versus sudden onset myalgic encephalomyelitis


Jason LA, Evans M, Brown A, Sunnquist M, Newton JL


Center for Community Research, DePaul University , Chicago , Illinois , USA; Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 2015; 43(1): 62-77


This work was supported by the NIAID and ME Research UK


A revised sudden onset case definition for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) has been developed (Jason, Damrongvachiraphan, et al, 2012) based on past case definitions. In a prior study, Jason, Brown, and colleagues (2012) compared patients recruited using the 1994 case definition of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to contrast those meeting criteria for the revised ME criteria. They found that this revised ME case definition identified patients with more functional impairments and physical, mental, and cognitive problems than those meeting the CFS criteria.

The study by Jason, Brown, et al (2012) only selected individuals who first met the CFS criteria, and it only relied on one Chicago-based data set. The current study replicated this comparison with two distinct data sets with different case ascertainment methods. Results indicate that the ME criteria identified a group of patients with more functional disabilities as well as more severe post-exertional malaise symptoms.

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