Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

The relationship of fatigue to mental and physical health in a community sample.

Author information

Social, Genetic, Developmental Psychiatry Research, Institute of Psychiatry, PO80, 16 De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill London SE5 8AF, UK.



Previous studies have shown fatigue and depression/anxiety to be highly associated with each other. The present study seeks to differentiate between fatigue and depression/anxiety and to investigate the familiality/heritability of fatigue using sib-pairs.


The GENESiS study is a questionnaire study based in the United Kingdom that includes a five-item fatigue scale and four mental health measures (GHQ-12, EPQ-N, MASQ-AA, MASQ-HPA). Fatigue data from 10,444 sibling pairs were analysed using multivariate methods and model fitting techniques to investigate the familiality/heritability of fatigue and its relationship with the other mental health measures and physical health items.


Fatigue correlated highly with GHQ-12 (r=0.62, p<0.001). A principal components analysis of the fatigue scale and the GHQ-12 revealed one main component which correlated highly with mental health items, and a smaller second component which correlated modestly with physical health items. Fatigue showed a modest sibling correlation (0.09, p<0.001), and multivariate modelling revealed evidence for familial effects on fatigue that were independent of the mental health measures.


Fatigue showed a strong relationship with both physical illness and mental health measures. Fatigue is modestly familial and at least part of this familial factor is not shared with mental health measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center