Full title: Risk factors for severe ME/CFS
Authors: Derek Pheby (1)*, Lisa Saffron (2)
(1) Buckinghamshire New University, and National ME Observatory, Harnham, Salisbury, Wilts., UK. (2) Bristol, UK. *Corresponding Author: email@example.com
[NB: The research reported here was undertaken at the University of the West of England, Bristol, where Professor Pheby was Director of the Unit of Applied Epidemiology, and Ms. Saffron was Research Associate within the Unit]
Publication: Biology and Medicine, Vol 1 (4): 50-74, 2009
Publication date: October 2009
ME/CFS is a serious illness affecting several hundred thousand British people. Some 25% of people with ME/CFS may be severely ill (housebound or bedbound), sometimes for decades. This observational, questionnaire-based study was designed to identify risk factors for severe disease. Exposure to potential risk factors, including familial risks, personality, and early management of the illness, was compared in 124 people with severe disease and 619 mildly ill controls. Severity was determined by self-report and the Barthel (activitiesof daily living) Index. Premorbid personality was assessed using the Neuroticism and Conscientiousness domains of the IPIP scale. Analysis was by tests of association and logistic regression. Early management of the illness appeared the most important determinant of severity. Having a mother with ME/CFS was also important. Smoking and personality were not risk factors, neurotic traits being more frequent among the less severely ill. Conscientiousness overall was not related to severity.
Read the full paper on Biomedonline.com: Risk factors in severe ME/CFS