What're the risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome?
According to a large 1999 US study, the highest rates of chronic fatigue syndrome were found among women in general, minority groups (African- and Hispanic-Americans), and people with lower levels of education and occupational status. Chronic fatigue is most often experienced by individuals 40 to 50 years old; it is least prevalent in people under 29 or over
60. This disorder, however, occurs in both sexes and at all ages and in all racial and ethnic groups.
Women. Although chronic fatigue syndrome occurs much more commonly in women, they do not appear to have more severe symptoms than men with the disorder.
Ethnic Groups. Although previous research reports found that Caucasian women have higher rates of chronic fatigue syndrome than women from other ethnic groups, reports now indicate that such estimates most likely reflect the greater socioeconomic ability of Caucasian women to receive treatment.
Stress-Related Occupations. One study of nurses found that those who were exposed to poor working conditions and threats of accidents faced a higher risk for chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms than those without these experiences. This finding suggests, perhaps, that stressful work puts people at higher risk for chronic fatigue syndrome. Stress alone does not cause chronic fatigue syndrome, however.
Children. Children and adolescents are not immune to its effects. Most studies indicate that girls are more apt to develop chronic fatigue syndrome than boys, although one found the incidence of the syndrome to be equal. According to a 1999 study, half of the children and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome also suffer psychiatric disorders, primarily anxiety, but also depression.
Personality and Psychological Factors. Some researchers suggest that people who are over-achievers may be more susceptible to chronic fatigue because they set impossibly high standards for themselves and chronic fatigue syndrome allows them to escape from them. Personality and psychological factors do not appear to be a direct cause of chronic fatigue syndrome but may increase a person's susceptibility to the syndrome after exposure to mental or physical stresses, such as viral infections.
More information on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
What is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)? - Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by prolonged, debilitating fatigue and multiple nonspecific symptoms.
What causes chronic fatigue syndrome? - The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains a mystery. Chronic fatigue syndrome may occur after an infection.
What're the risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome? - The highest risks of chronic fatigue syndrome are found among women in general, minority groups, and people with lower levels of education and occupational status.
What're the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome? - The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are an unexplained feeling of fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, sore throat, headache.
How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed? - The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is based on a medical history and physical examination.
What's the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome? - There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but many treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
What medications cure chronic fatigue syndrome? - Medications that cure chronic fatigue syndrome include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, stimulants.