4.3 Million Americans Impacted by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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  • CDC survey discloses a 1.3% prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in the US
  • Women and those aged 50–69 are disproportionately affected
  • The link between rising cases and long COVID suggests a complex health landscape

Until recently, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was viewed as an uncommon health condition. However, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that approximately 1.3% of adults in the United States are affected by chronic fatigue syndrome (1 Trusted Source
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adults: United States, 2021–2022

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This percentage corresponds to around 4.3 million Americans when considering the current U.S. population of 333 million. The CDC conducted a survey involving over 57,000 American adults in 2021 and 2022. Participants were questioned about receiving a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome from a healthcare professional and whether they still experienced the illness. Approximately 1.3% confirmed both criteria.


The report highlights a higher prevalence of cases among women compared to men, as well as in individuals aged 50–69. Additionally, the survey suggests that white adults face a greater risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome compared to Hispanic and Asian adults. Cases were found to be less common in households with higher incomes and rural residences.

Symptoms and Signs of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may include severe fatigue lasting for at least six months, coupled with a diminished ability to perform daily activities. Symptoms may worsen after physical or mental exertion, disrupt sleep, and lead to post-exertional malaise, where individuals feel overexerted after engaging in extra activity.

Triggers for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

According to health professionals, chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed clinically, with key symptoms including fatigue impairing function for more than six months, severe post-exertional malaise, and moderate to severe unrefreshing sleep. Possible triggers for chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID involve challenges to the immune system from viral infections, with both conditions being more common in females.

Treating chronic fatigue syndrome involves lifestyle adjustments and pharmacological interventions. Exercise, tailored to individual tolerance, is recommended to prevent post-exertional malaise. Improving sleep hygiene and addressing mental health components, such as anxiety or depression, are also crucial. Pharmacological treatments, while available, should be approached under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

In summary, the recent CDC report sheds light on the prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in the U.S., potentially linked to long COVID. Managing symptoms involves a holistic approach, including exercise, sleep improvement, and mental health care.

“Understanding chronic fatigue is the first step towards comprehensive care. Let’s address the hidden challenges and support those silently battling. Together, we unravel health mysteries.”



  1. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adults: United States, 2021–2022 – (


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