Causes of death among patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Health Care Women Int. 2006 Aug;27(7):615-26. doi: 10.1080/07399330600803766.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating illness affecting thousands of individuals. At the present time, there are few studies that have investigated causes of death for those with this syndrome. The authors analyzed a memorial list tabulated by the National CFIDS Foundation of 166 deceased individuals who had had CFS. There were approximately three times more women than men on the list. The three most prevalent causes of death were heart failure, suicide, and cancer, which accounted for 59.6% of all deaths. The mean age of those who died from cancer and suicide was 47.8 and 39.3 years, respectively, which is considerably younger than those who died from cancer and suicide in the general population. The implications of these findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cause of Death*
  • Comorbidity
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • United States