Peter Manu, MD; Thomas J. Lane, MD; Dale A. Matthews, MD
Study Objective: To determine the frequency of the chronic fatigue syndrome among patients with symptoms of fatigue.
Design: Prospective, cohort study.
Setting: Referral clinic, based in a primary care general internal medicine faculty practice of a university medical center.
Patients: Consecutive sample of 135 patients (53 men, 82 women) with 6 months or more of debilitating fatigue.
Interventions: All patients had a complete history taken, had a physical examination and a comprehensive battery of blood tests, and were given the Diagnostic Interview Schedule of the National Institute of Mental Health, a highly-structured 260-item instrument designed to enable accurate psychiatric diagnoses. Other diagnostic studies (for example, sleep studies and electroencephalography) were ordered if necessary for individual patients.
Measurements and Main Results: Six of the one hundred thirty-five patients met criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome (95% CI, 0 to 10). Ninety-one (67%) patients (CI, 56 to 78) had clinically active psychiatric disorders and 4 (3%) patients (CI, 0 to 8) had medical disorders that were considered a major cause of their fatigue. Thirty-four (25%) patients (CI, 14 to 36) had insufficient symptoms or objective findings of the chronic fatigue syndrome.
Conclusion: The chronic fatigue syndrome is rare among patients with symptoms of persistent fatigue. Most of these patients have psychiatric disorders.
Manu P, Lane TJ, Matthews DA. The Frequency of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Patients with Symptoms of Persistent Fatigue. Ann Intern Med. ;109:554–556. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-7-554
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(7):554-556.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia, Infectious Disease, Rheumatology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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