More Studies Suggest Possible Heart Failure in ME/CFS

I have written several times on Fighting Fatigue about the heart failure theory in ME/CFS patients.  I have talked to a cardiologist regarding this but she wasn’t much help.  I have also worn a halter monitor for 24 hours but this showed no irregularities in my heart either.  If you want to read about the other articles I’ve written on heart problems in ME/CFS patients, please view the “Related Posts” links at the end of this post. 

Thanks to Adrienne once again at the About.com website for CFS & Fibromyalgia for posting the links to these studies. 

Both of these recent studies were published in Neuroendocrinology Letters:  the studies were a CoQ10 Study and an Inflammation, Oxidative & Nitrosative Stress Study.   Here is an excerpt from the CoQ10 study:

The results show that lowered levels of CoQ10 play a role in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS and that symptoms, such as fatigue, and autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms may be caused by CoQ10 depletion. Our results suggest that patients with ME/CFS would benefit from CoQ10 supplementation in order to normalize the low CoQ10 syndrome and the IO&NS disorders. The findings that lower CoQ10 is an independent predictor of chronic heart failure (CHF) and mortality due to CHF may explain previous reports that the mean age of ME/CFS patients dying from CHF is 25 years younger than the age of those dying from CHF in the general population.

In this study, the CoQ10 levels in the 58 CFS patients was significantly lower than that of the 22 healthy individuals tested.  The researchers stated that lower C0Q10 is a predictor of chronic heart failure and may explain the link between ME/CFS & chronic heart failure.  What really scares me from this research is where they state that ME/CFS patients dying from chronic heart failure is 25 years youngger than the general population who die from chronic heart failure.

So naturally, researchers are suggesting that CFS patients take CoQ10 supplements.  If CFS patients are on cholesterol drugs, these will decrease the CoQ10 levels in the body so it is imperative to take CoQ10 supplements if on cholesterol drugs. 

An excerpt from the second study states that:

There is evidence that disorders in inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways and a lowered antioxidant status are important pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Important precipitating and perpetuating factors for ME/CFS are (amongst others) bacterial and viral infections; bacterial translocation due to an increased gut permeability; and psychological stress. Recently, Jason et al (2006) reported that the mean age of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome dying from heart failure, i.e. 58.7 years, is significantly lower than the age of those dying from heart failure in the general US population, i.e. 83.1 years. These findings implicate that ME/CFS is a risk factor to cardio-vascular disorder.

This study was very hard for me to understand, so please click the following link (also posted above) to read the entire study:  Why myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) may kill you: disorders in the inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways may explain cardiovascular disorders in ME/CFS.

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