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January 16, 1991

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author Affiliations

McLean Hospital Belmont, Mass
Newton (Mass)-Wellesley Hospital

McLean Hospital Belmont, Mass
Newton (Mass)-Wellesley Hospital

JAMA. 1991;265(3):357-358. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460030063026

To the Editor. —  Gold et al1 reported that patients with chronic fatigue displayed no evidence of ongoing EBV infection but showed a strikingly high prevalence of depressive illness. We offer further evidence to support the latter finding.Chronic fatigue syndrome has been shown to overlap significantly with fibromyalgia,2,3 an idiopathic rheumatic condition characterized by chronic generalized pain, multiple tender points, and, frequently, persistent fatigue. We recently interviewed 33 consecutive patients with fibromyalgia using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Third Edition (SCID),4 a structured interview designed to assess the prevalence of current or past major psychiatric disorders. We also administered a supplemental interview in SCID format assessing chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and narcolepsy.Of the 33 patients with fibromyalgia, 14 (42%) met the full interview criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, and nine others (27%) fell only