Journal of IiME Volume 2 Issue 2 www.investinme.org Family Illnesses Among People with ME/CFS: Blood Versus Non-Blood Relatives (continued) found 5 total cases of diabetes for all nonblood relatives, whereas for the fathers of people with ME/CFS, there were 20 cases. These findings suggest that at least for diabetes, the outcomes are not likely due to there being more blood relatives than nonblood relatives. Furthermore, one could argue that a person may have more non-blood relatives than blood relatives. According to the United States Census Bureau (2000), the average family size in the United States is 3.14. Using this statistic, after four generations of two parents having one child, a fourth generation person would have 14 blood relatives. These 14 blood relatives are the person’s: 8 great grandparents, 4 grandparents, mother and father. However, when this individual marries their spouse, assuming their spouse is also a fourth generation person from one child families, this individual will gain 15 non-blood relatives. These 15 non-blood relatives include their spouse, and their spouse’s 8 great grandparents, 4 grandparents, and 2 parents. Therefore, it is at least conceivable that there might be as many non-blood relatives, if not more, than blood relatives. In general, the findings of this study found that family members who are related by blood have several medical illnesses at higher rates than those who are non-blood related. Certainly, the findings are strongest for diabetes, and it is always possible that recall bias influenced the results. However, the robust nature of the outcomes indicates this is an area worthy of future investigations, and having medical work-ups of both blood and non-blood relatives would strengthen research. There are policy implications of this work, for if individuals with ME/CFS do have blood relatives with more medical illnesses, it is possible that both genetic and environmental factors need to be considered when understanding the etiology of this illness and when providing treatment for those with this illness. Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) References Addington, J.S. (2000), 'Chronic fatigue syndrome: A dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 7, 2, 63-73. American Diabetes Association. (2008). Diabetes Statistics. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from www.diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics.jsp Bates, D.W., Buchwald, D., Lee, J., Kith, P., Doolittle, T., Rutherford, C., Churchill, W.H., Schur, P.H., Wener, M., Wybenga, D., Winkelman, J. & Komaroff, A.L. (1995), Clinical laboratory test findings in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Archives of Internal Medicine, 155, 1, 97-103. Brown, M.M. & Jason, L.A. (2007). Functioning in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome: Increased impairment with co-occurring multiple chemical sensitivity and fibromyalgia. Dynamic Medicine, 6, 6 doi:10.1186/14765918-6-6. Buchwald, D., Cheney, P.R., Peterson, D.L., Henry, B., Wormsley, S.B., Geiger, A., Ablashi, D.V., Salahuddin, S.Z., Saxinger, C., Biddle, R., Kikinis, R., Jolesz, F.A., Folks, T., Balachandran, N., Peter, J.B., Gallo, R.C. & Komaroff, A.L. (1992). A chronic illness characterized by fatigue, neurologic and immunological disorders, and active Human Herpesvirus Type-6 infection. Annals of Internal Medicine, 116, 2, 103-113. Cohen, J. (1988), Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, Hillsdale, NJ Erlbaum. Demitrack, M.A., Dale, J.K., Straus, S.E., Laue, L., Listwak, S.J., Kruesi, M.J.P., Chrousos, G.P. & Gold, P.W. (1991). Evidence for impaired activation of the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 73, 6, 1224-1234. Endicott, N. (1999). Chronic fatigue syndrome in private practice psychiatry: Family history of physical and mental health, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 47, 4, 343-54. (continued on page 11) Page 10/74

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