Full title: Premorbid risk markers for chronic fatigue syndrome in the 1958 British birth cohort
Authors: Clark C, Goodwin L, Stansfeld SA, Hotopf M, White PD.
Source: Centre for Psychiatry, Barts & the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
Publication: Br J Psychiatry
Publication date: Oct 2011
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME); prospective studies suggest a role for premorbid mood disorder.
AIMS: To examine childhood and early adult adversity, ill health and physical activity as premorbid risk markers for CFS/ME by 42 years, taking psychopathology into account.
METHOD: Data were from the 1958 British birth cohort, a prospective study from birth to 42 years (n = 11 419). The outcomes were self-reported CFS/ME (n = 127) and operationally defined CFS-like illness (n = 241) at 42 years.
RESULTS: Adjusting for psychopathology, parental physical abuse (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10, 95% CI 1.16-3.81), childhood gastrointestinal symptoms (OR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.00-2.50) and parental reports of many colds (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.09-2.50) were independently associated with self-reported CFS/ME. Female gender and premorbid psychopathology were the only risk markers for CFS-like illness, independent of comorbid psychopathology.
CONCLUSIONS: This confirms the importance of premorbid psychopathology in the aetiological pathways of CFS/ME, and replicates retrospective findings that childhood adversity may play a role in a minority.
PMID: 21852302 [PubMed - in process]
View the abstract in PubMed.