Document Detail

Unloading the trunk: neurasthenia, CFS and race.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15047091     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The aetiologies of both chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and its predecessor neurasthenia, have been linked to technological advances in 'developed' countries. This paper discusses how this has led to a form of race thinking within discussions about fatigue which has persisted for more than a century. We review the historical development of this race thinking from neurasthenia to CFS and describe how it is manifested in both the lay- and medical literature. We also review the epidemiological literature on CFS and ethnicity to better understand the relatively low percentage of non-white patients seen in tertiary referral clinics for CFS. The aim of this paper is to act as a starting point for a debate on race and CFS.
A Luthra; S Wessely
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  58     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-29     Completed Date:  2004-06-29     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2363-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
King's College School of Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, 103 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Continental Population Groups*
Diagnosis, Differential
Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / ethnology,  etiology*
Health Services Research / history
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
Industry / trends
Neurasthenia / ethnology,  etiology*
Technology / trends
United States

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