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Psychol Med. 2013 Aug;43(8):1773-83. doi: 10.1017/S0033291712002437. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Association of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 with new-onset fatigue in the Whitehall II prospective cohort study.

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1
Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmmunology, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, CA, USA. hjcho@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although basic research on neuroimmune interactions suggests that inflammatory processes may play a role in the development of fatigue, population-based evidence on this association is limited. This study examined whether plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), biomarkers of systemic inflammation, predict fatigue onset.

METHOD:

The Whitehall II study is a large-scale cohort study conducted in 20 civil service departments in London. Plasma CRP and IL-6 were measured in 4847 non-fatigued participants at phase 3 (1991-1993, aged 39-63 years). Fatigue was assessed using the Vitality subscale of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) at phase 3 and phase 4 (1995-1996).

RESULTS:

During a mean follow-up of 3.1 years, 957 new fatigue cases (19.7%) were identified using the pre-established cut-off score of ≤ 50 on the Vitality subscale. CRP values were dichotomized as low (<1.0 mg/l ) or high (≥ 1.0 mg/l) using the Centers for Disease Control/American Heart Association recommendations. Similarly, IL-6 values were also dichotomized as low (<1.5 pg/ml) or high (≥ 1.5 pg/ml). After full adjustment for sociodemographic and biobehavioral covariates, the odds ratios for new-onset fatigue were 1.28 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-1.49, p = 0.003] for high CRP and 1.24 (95% CI 1.06-1.45, p = 0.008) for high IL-6. Similar results were found when CRP and IL-6 were treated as continuous variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

Plasma CRP and IL-6 were prospectively associated with new-onset fatigue, supporting the hypothesis that low-grade inflammation has a role in the development of fatigue.

PMID:
23151405
PMCID:
PMC3819455
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291712002437
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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