Background: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a long-term disabling illness accompanied by fatigue unsolved by rest. However, ME/CFS is a poorly understood illness that lacks a universally accepted pathophysiology and treatment. A lack of CFS-related studies have been conducted in Asian countries. This study aimed to estimate and compare the prevalence of ME/CFS in Korea and Japan and conducted a meta-analysis. Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, and KMBASE for population-based prevalence studies of the two countries and synthesized the data according to the Fukuda case definition. Results: Of the eight studies (five in Korea, three in Japan) included, the total prevalence rate of Korean studies was 0.77% (95% CI 0.34–1.76), and 0.76% (95% CI 0.46–1.25) for the Japanese studies. The prevalence rate in females was approximately two-fold higher than males in Korean studies (1.31% female vs. 0.60% male), while the gender difference was less obvious in Japanese studies (0.76% female vs. 0.65% male). Conclusions: Further epidemiology studies on the female ME/CFS prevalence rate between countries may be required.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited