Full Title: Conditions comorbid with chronic fatigue in a population-based sample.
Authors: Dansie EJ, Furberg H, Afari N, Buchwald D, Edwards K, Goldberg J, Schur E, Sullivan PF.
Publication Date: January 2012
Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research, University of Washington, Seattle WA.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been found to be comorbid with various medical conditions in clinical samples, but little research has investigated CFS comorbidity in population-based samples.
This study investigated conditions concurrent with a CFS-like illness among twins in the population-based Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR), including chronic widespread pain (CWP), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and major depressive disorder (MDD).
A survey was mailed to participants in the MATR in 1999. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate odds ratios to assess associations between CFS-like illness and each comorbid condition.
A total of 4590 completed surveys were collected. Most participants were female (86.3%); mean age was 44.7 years. Among participants with a CFS-like illness, lifetime prevalences of CWP, IBS, and MDD were 41%, 16%, and 57% respectively. Participants reporting at least one of the three comorbid conditions were about 14 times more likely to have CFS-like illness than those without CWP, IBS, or MDD (95% confidence interval 8.1%-21.3%). Only MDD showed a temporal pattern of presentation during the same year as diagnosis of CFS-like illness. Age, gender, body mass index, age at illness onset, exercise level, self-reported health status, fatigue symptoms, and personality measures did not differ between those reporting CFS-like illness with and without comorbidity.
These results support findings in clinically based samples that CFS-like illness is frequently cormorbid with CWP, IBS, and/or MDD. We found no evidence that CFS-like illnesses with comorbidities are clinically distinct from those without comorbidities.
View the abstract in PubMed.