I previously took a survey by the CFIDS Association regarding ME/CFS symptoms and which ones were worse. The CFIDS Association has revealed the results of that survey and I thought readers might find it interesting. Here is a little bit more about the survey by Suzanne Vernon, Scientific Director of the CFIDS Association:
In May we asked CFIDSLink readers, donors and members to respond to a detailed 15-item questionnaire to examine family history and patterns of symptoms and factors at onset of illness and that may worsen symptoms over time. In August we reported a preliminary analysis; this month we have more closely analyzed the symptom patterns you reported. Of the 1,200 survey responses, 1,100 were completed accurately for the analysis. The respondents were broken down into four age groups and the age at the date of the survey was calculated, as well as duration of illness.
To view all of the age groups, please use this link to view the table by Suzanne Vernon. Here are some of the other results.
- The largest group of survey respondents (almost 45%) were in the 41 – 55 age group.
- Each age group had more women than men.
- The avg. age of CFS onset was older for the older age groups, each group still included those who reported onset at an early age.
- The avg. # of years of those sick in each age group was more than 5 years.
- The most common symptoms for ALL age groups are post-exertion fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, muscle pain, & concentration problems.
- The next set of most common symptoms for ALL age groups are headache, joint pain, sinus problems, eye sensitivity to light, depression, other sleep issues.
- Some of the symptoms that are less common also seem to vary more by age group (Ex: pelvic pain was more common in the younger age groups where urinary urgency was more common in older age groups).
- The less common symptoms were reported as more severe in older age groups. According to Dr. Vernon, “This may be an indication of conditions that evolve and co-occur with CFS as individuals age and remain ill.”
- The severity of unrefreshing sleep decreased slightly in older age groups.
To view all of the symptoms included in the survey and to view Dr. Vernon’s graphs on this survey, please use the link below: