Fatigue in patients with chronic disease: results from the population-based Lifelines Cohort Study

Yvonne M. J. Goërtz, Annemarie M. J. Braamse, Martijn A. Spruit, Daisy J. A. Janssen, Zjala Ebadi, Maarten van Herck, Chris Burtin, Jeannette B. Peters, Mirjam A. G. Sprangers, Femke Lamers, Jos W. R. Twisk, Melissa S. Y. Thong, Jan H. Vercoulen, Suzanne E. Geerlings, Anouk W. Vaes, Rosanne J. H. C. G. Beijers, Martijn van Beers, Annemie M. W. J. Schols, Judith G. M. Rosmalen, Hans Knoop

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(1) To evaluate the prevalence of severe and chronic fatigue in subjects with and without chronic disease; (2) to assess to which extent multi-morbidity contributes to severe and chronic fatigue; and (3) to identify predisposing and associated factors for severe and chronic fatigue and whether these are disease-specific, trans-diagnostic, or generic. The Dutch Lifelines cohort was used, including 78,363 subjects with (n = 31,039, 53 ± 12 years, 33% male) and without (n = 47,324, 48 ± 12 years, 46% male) ≥ 1 of 23 chronic diseases. Fatigue was assessed with the Checklist Individual Strength-Fatigue. Compared to participants without a chronic disease, a higher proportion of participants with ≥ 1 chronic disease were severely (23% versus 15%, p < 0.001) and chronically (17% versus 10%, p < 0.001) fatigued. The odds of having severe fatigue (OR [95% CI]) increased from 1.6 [1.5–1.7] with one chronic disease to 5.5 [4.5–6.7] with four chronic diseases; for chronic fatigue from 1.5 [1.5–1.6] to 4.9 [3.9–6.1]. Multiple trans-diagnostic predisposing and associated factors of fatigue were found, explaining 26% of variance in fatigue in chronic disease. Severe and chronic fatigue are highly prevalent in chronic diseases. Multi-morbidity increases the odds of having severe and chronic fatigue. Several trans-diagnostic factors were associated with fatigue, providing a rationale for a trans-diagnostic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20977
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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