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Prevalence and characteristics of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in Poland: A cross-sectional study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Julia Newton

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Abstract

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Objectives The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and describe illness characteristics in a community population in Poland. Design: cross-sectional study. Setting Poland. Participants Of the cohort of 1400 who self-presented with fatigue only 69 subsequently were confirmed as having CFS/ME using the Fukuda criteria. Main outcome measures Participants completed the following screening symptom assessment tools: Chalder Fatigue Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Composite Autonomic Symptom Score 31 (COMPASS 31), Quality of Life Scale (QOLS). Haemodynamic and autonomic parameters were automatically measured at rest with a Task Force Monitor. Results In 1308, from 1400 (93%) individuals who identified themselves as fatigued, recognised chronic conditions were identified, for example, neurological (n=280, 21.5%), neurodegenerative (n=200, 15%), psychiatric (n=654, 50%) and immunologic (n=174, 13.5%) disorders. The remaining 69 participants (mean age 38.3±8.5) met the Fukuda defintion for CFS/ME and had baseline objective assessment. The majority had experienced symptoms for over 2 years with 37% having symptoms for 2-5 years and 21.7% for more than 10 years. The COMPASS 31 indicated that 50% have symptoms consistent with orthostatic intolerance. About 43/69 (62%) had Epworth sleepiness scores ≥10, ie, consistent with excessive daytime sleepiness, 26/69 (38%) had significant anxiety and 22/69 (32%) depression measured by HADS A & D. Quality of life is significantly impaired in those with Fukuda criteria CFS (QLS score 64±11) with significant negative relationships between quality of life and fatigue (p<0.0001), anxiety (p=0.0009), depression (p<0.0001) and autonomic symptoms (p=0.04). Conclusion This is the first study to summarise illness characteristics of Polish CFS/ME patients. Our study has confirmed that fatigue is a common and under-recognised symptom affecting the Polish population.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Slomko J, Newton JL, Kujawski S, Tafil-Klawe M, Klawe J, Staines D, Marshall-Gradisnik S, Zalewski P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2019

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 07/03/2019

Acceptance date: 08/01/2019

Date deposited: 19/03/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group

URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023955

DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023955

PubMed id: 30850404


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