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Publication - Dr Simon Collin

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Age 16 Years


    Collin, SM, Norris, TD, Nuevo, R, Tilling, KM, Joinson, CJ, Sterne, JAC & Crawley, EM, 2016, ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Age 16 Years’. Pediatrics, vol 137.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository