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AHRQ Report Finds Exercise May Help Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Press Release Date: September 18, 2001

Increasing activity and physical exercise may help ease the symptoms of fatigue in some patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), improving their quality of life and ability to function, says a new evidence report released today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The researchers did not find, however, that one type of exercise was better than another.

The researchers also found either insufficient or inconclusive evidence to draw any conclusions about other treatments for the condition. Patients with CFS are sometimes treated with immune therapy, corticosteroids, antidepressants and other pharmacological agents or supplements, and complementary therapies.

The report was conducted for AHRQ by the San Antonio Evidence-based Practice Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Veterans Evidence-based Research, Dissemination, and Implementation Center (VERDICT), a Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence. The topic was nominated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The summary of Evidence Report Number 42: Defining and Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is available online at, and from the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC); select NGC Resources. Print copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547, or 800-358-9295 or

Note to Editors: A summary of this AHRQ-funded Evidence Report in conjunction with a study conducted by the National Health Service Center for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York is scheduled for publication in the September 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For additional information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364.


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