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Chronic fatigue syndrome and increased susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections and illnesses

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: and Thomas, Marie 2015. Chronic fatigue syndrome and increased susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections and illnesses. Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior 3 (3) , pp. 156-163. 10.1080/21641846.2015.1033271

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Background: Previous research has suggested that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients report more upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs) than controls. Aims: The present study aimed to replicate and extend this research. Method: A prospective study of the incidence of URTIs was conducted. This was similar to previous work involving diary studies but also included objective measures of illness severity (e.g. nasal secretion; sub-lingual temperature) and infection (virus isolation from nasal swabs and antibody changes). Fifty-seven patients with CFS, diagnosed according to the 1994 CDC criteria, were recruited randomly from a volunteer panel compiled of patients who had attended the Cardiff CFS outpatient clinic. A further 57 individuals without CFS were recruited from a general population research panel. Results: The results confirmed that CFS patients report more upper respiratory virus infections and the virological results showed that this was not due to a reporting bias but reflected greater susceptibility to infection. Conclusions: This increased susceptibility to infection in the CFS group can account for the increased reporting of URTIs found in this and previous studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome, upper respiratory tract infections
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Funders: The Linbury Trust
Date of Acceptance: 19 March 2015
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:58

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