Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Med. 2011 Mar 21;9:26. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-9-26.

Chronic fatigue syndrome in an ethnically diverse population: the influence of psychosocial adversity and physical inactivity.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Psychiatry, Wolson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. k.s.bhui@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex multifactorial disorder. This paper reports the prevalence of chronic fatigue (CF) and CFS in an ethnically diverse population sample and tests whether prevalence varies by social adversity, social support, physical inactivity, anxiety and depression.

METHODS:

Analysis of survey data linking the Health Survey for England (1998 and 1999) and the Ethnic Minority Psychiatric Illness Rates in the Community (EMPIRIC) study undertaken in 2000. The study population comprised a national population sample of 4,281 people ages 16 to 74 years. CF and CFS were operationally defined on the basis of an interview in the EMPIRIC study, alongside questions about psychosocial risk factors. Previous illnesses were reported in the Health Survey for England during 1998 and 1999, as was physical inactivity.

RESULTS:

All ethnic minority groups had a higher prevalence of CFS than the White group. The lowest prevalence was 0.8% in the White group, and it was highest at 3.5% in the Pakistani group (odds ratio (OR), 4.1; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.6 to 10.4). Anxiety (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4 to 2.2), depression (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.8), physical inactivity (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.8), social strain (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.48) and negative aspects of social support (OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.3) were independent risk factors for CFS in the overall sample. Together these risk factors explained ethnic differences in the prevalence of CFS, but no single risk factor could explain a higher prevalence in all ethnic groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of CFS, but not CF, varies by ethnic group. Anxiety, depression, physical inactivity, social strain and negative aspects of social support together accounted for prevalence differences of CFS in the overall sample.

PMID:
21418640
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3072345
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk