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Health Insight April 2001:
Suicide risk for ME sufferers

  The charity Action for ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) has published what it says is the largest study on the disease - Severely neglected: ME in the UK. The charity, which says there are now at least 15,000 people in the UK who have ME, describes the report's findings as 'profoundly disturbing'. In particular, it highlights the fact over half of those with ME say they have felt suicidal because of their condition.

77 per cent of the 2,338 people with ME participating in the study said they had experienced severe pain, and 70 per cent described themselves as being sometimes or always too ill to attend a doctor's clinic. Thirty-three per cent said they had had symptoms of ME for over 18 months before it was diagnosed, and 65 per cent said they had never received any advice from their GP as to how to manage their condition. The charity says, 'It is time those who have ME are given the type of treatment and services that the illness so clearly deserves.' It also calls for more research and for healthcare professionals to be given education about ME.

Source: Press release (Action for ME)

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