High Price of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Set
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Costs U.S. $9 Billion Each Year
WebMD News Archive
June 24, 2004 -- The physical and mental fatigue caused by
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) costs the U.S. more than $9 billion each year in
lost productivity alone, according to a new study.
Researchers say CFS affects between 400,000 and 800,000 people
in the U.S. The mysterious condition of unknown origin results in potentially
disabling physical and mental fatigue that can't be explained by other causes
and lasts an average of five years.
The study, published in the current issue of Cost
Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, shows the condition costs the
average person with chronic fatigue syndrome $20,000 per year in lost wages,
which results in a loss of national productivity comparable to that caused by
diseases of the digestive, immune, and nervous systems and skin disorders.
Researchers say it's the first time the economic burden of CFS
has been examined and suggests that the disease is poorly recognized and
Cost of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In the study, researchers surveyed people diagnosed with
chronic fatigue syndrome in Wichita, Kan., and asked them about their
employment status, household income, and occupation.
The study showed that about a quarter of those with CFS who
could have otherwise been employed had left their jobs due to their
Researchers say chronic fatigue syndrome caused an average 37%
decline in household income and a 54% reduction in labor force
Extrapolating those results to the U.S. population as a whole,
researchers estimate that CFS causes a total loss of $9.1 billion, consisting
of $2.3 billion in lost household income and $6.8 billion in lost labor
None of these estimates include health-care costs associated
with the disease, which researchers say are likely to be substantial.