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Chronic fatigue symptoms reduced by 9/11

Posted - Oct. 1, 2004 at 2:40 p.m.



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ATLANTA, Oct 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Sufferers from chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States reported fewer symptoms in the weeks immediately after the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Christine Heim of Emory University, who was doing a study of the condition for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta when the attacks occurred, found a significantly lower rate of fatiguing illness in the study group in later interviews.

Heim suggests that the destruction of the World Trade Center and attack on the Pentagon may have led many people to "count their blessings" instead of focusing on health problems. Another possibility is that the traumatic events could have triggered a "fight or flight response" that temporarily reduced feelings of fatigue.

The cause of CFS is unknown, although researchers believe that stress is likely to be involved. The condition has an array of symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain and poor concentration.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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