Study of CFS in GA
CDC conducted a study of CFS and similar illnesses in 13 counties in Georgia between 2004 and 2005. To conduct the study, interviewers telephoned a randomly selected sample of 17,000 households. Interviewers began by asking the selected households a short set of questions to identify household members who may have CFS and similar illnesses.
Some of these household members—both fatigued and not fatigued—were asked to complete more detailed, telephone interviews. A smaller number of these respondents were offered clinical evaluations, including free medical examinations. These participants were compensated for their time and given the results of laboratory tests.
By the time the study ended, over 7,000 people completed the telephone survey, and more than 700 of these respondents visited CDC's clinics in Northeast Atlanta or Macon.
Between 2007 and 2009, CDC followed up with a sample of individuals who had participated in the initial study between 2004 and 2005. Not all individuals who participated in the initial study were contacted in the follow-up study. The study included a detailed telephone interview and a one-day clinical evaluation similar to the initial study. As the study concluded in 2009, more than 3,000 individuals completed the follow-up telephone survey and more than 700 of these participants completed the clinical evaluation.
Participation in all aspects of the study, including the telephone screening, was voluntary. CDC is using the data to estimate the prevalence of CFS, better pinpoint the exact nature of the symptoms, and eventually develop a cure.
Although the cause of CFS remains unknown, this research program has greatly increased knowledge about CFS and other fatiguing illnesses and has helped the health-care community develop viable treatments.