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Publication - Dr Simon Collin

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Age 16 Years

    Citation

    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.

    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository