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Pediatrics. 2016 Feb;137(2):e20153434. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-3434. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Age 16 Years.

Author information

1
School of Social & Community Medicine and Centre for Child & Adolescent Health, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
2
School of Social & Community Medicine and.
3
School of Social & Community Medicine and Centre for Child & Adolescent Health, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom esther.crawley@bristol.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort, chronic disabling fatigue lasting ≥6 months affected 1.3% of 13-year-olds, was equally common in boys and girls, and became more prevalent with increasing family adversity.

METHODS:

ALSPAC data were used to estimate the prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at age 16 years, defined by parental report of unexplained disabling fatigue lasting ≥6 months. We investigated gender and a composite 14-item family adversity index as risk factors. School absence data were obtained from the National Pupil Database. Multiple imputation was used to address bias caused by missing data.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of CFS was 1.86% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.47 to 2.24). After excluding children with high levels of depressive symptoms, the prevalence was 0.60% (95% CI: 0.37 to 0.84). Authorized school absences were much higher (mean difference: 35.6 [95% CI: 26.4 to 44.9] half-day sessions per academic year) and reported depressive symptoms were much more likely (odds ratio [OR]: 11.0 [95% CI: 5.92 to 20.4]) in children with CFS than in those without CFS. Female gender (OR: 1.95 [95% CI: 1.33 to 2.86]) and family adversity (OR: 1.20 [95% CI: 1.01 to 1.42] per unit family adversity index) were also associated with CFS.

CONCLUSIONS:

CFS affected 1.9% of 16-year-olds in a UK birth cohort and was positively associated with higher family adversity. Gender was a risk factor at age 16 years but not at age 13 years or in 16-year-olds without high levels of depressive symptoms.

PMID:
26810786
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2015-3434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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