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One in 100 pupils affected by ME

13th December 2011
A study has said that one in 100 pupils in UK schools could be regularly missing school because they suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

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Chronic fatigue syndrome causes extreme tiredness, moodiness, concentration and memory difficulties.
Approximately 250,000 people are believed to suffer from the condition in the UK
The researchers, from the University of Bristol, studied 2,855 pupils at three schools and found 28 were absent from school with the condition.
They looked at all the pupils from the ages of 11-16 at three schools in Bath, and singled out 461 pupils who had been absent from school for one day a week or more over a six week period.
Although five pupils had previously been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, another 23 cases were discovered by the researchers.
The researchers said 1% of children had ME and the condition caused 6% of the large number of absences.
Dr Esther Crawley, one of the team, told the BBC: "The impact of missing school is potentially devastating."
The chief executive of the Association of Young People with ME, Mary-Jane Willows, said the issues arising from the condition were "horrendous" and that "1% is a phenomenal number. It proves the problem we're up against".
She added: "I would say that it is on the lean side, it is at least 1%, there is a hidden population out there."

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