Chronic Fatigue Initiative Study

The Chronic Fatigue Initiative (CFI) was an organization created and funded by the Hutchins Family Foundation to drive wide-scale research into the underlying infectious, immunological, and toxicological causes of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). CFI's goal was to disseminate its research findings to better equip the broader research community to work on mechanisms of ME/CFS and associated diagnostics, treatment, and prevention.

From 2011 to 2013, CFI conducted a large U.S. multicenter cross-sectional study to compare adults with ME/CFS from five geographically distinct clinical research sites with sex and geographic location (within 100 miles of the clinical location) matched control participants. To be eligible for study inclusion, ME/CFS participants had to have a diagnosis of ME/CFS from an expert clinician that met one or both internationally recognized case definitions: the 1994 Fukuda criteria (Fukuda et al., 1994) or the 2003 Canadian criteria (Carruthers et al., 2003) with expansion by Jason et al. (2010). A total of 401 study participants (201 ME/CFS cases, 200 controls) are included in the database, having contributed questionnaire, medical record, physical exam, and laboratory data, in addition to a wide range of biological specimens (RNA, DNA, plasma, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, saliva, tears, and urine). The following table displays the number of ME/CFS participants and control participants by sex. For more information on CFI study participant recruitment, data collection, and findings, see Klimas et al. (2015).

Cross tabulation of Case Status by Sex for the CFI dataset.

Case Status Sex Total
Control Participant 57 143 200
ME/CFS Participant 58 143 201
Total 115 286 401