How fatigue is related to other somatic symptoms

Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.9). 11/2006; 91(10):824-7. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2006.094623
Source: PubMed


To assess the relation between fatigue and somatic symptoms in healthy adolescents and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME).
Seventy two adolescents with CFS were compared within a cross-sectional study design with 167 healthy controls. Fatigue and somatic complaints were measured using self-report questionnaires, respectively the subscale subjective fatigue of the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS-20) and the Children's Somatization Inventory.
Healthy adolescents reported the same somatic symptoms as adolescents with CFS/ME, but with a lower score of severity. The top 10 somatic complaints were the same: low energy, headache, heaviness in arms/legs, dizziness, sore muscles, hot/cold spells, weakness in body parts, pain in joints, nausea/upset stomach, back pain. There was a clear positive relation between log somatic symptoms and fatigue (linear regression coefficient: 0.041 points log somatic complaints per score point fatigue, 95% CI 0.033 to 0.049) which did not depend on disease status.
Results suggest a continuum with a gradual transition from fatigue with associated symptoms in healthy adolescents to the symptom complex of CFS/ME.

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