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Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with the risk of fracture: a nationwide cohort study

C.-S. Chen, W.-M. Lin, T.-Y. Yang, H.-J. Chen, C.-N. Kuo, C.-H. Kao
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcu037 635-641 First published online: 11 March 2014

Abstract

Purpose: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder that is associated with unreasonable persistent fatigue. CFS has also been reported to be a possible risk factor for osteopathy. We propose that CFS might be associated with an increased risk of fracture.

Methods: We used the National Health Insurance Research Database to conduct a prospective cohort study, identifying 3744 patients with a CFS diagnosis (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 780.71) and 14 976 patients without CFS until 2006, with follow-up observed until the end of 2010.

Results: The incidence rate of fracture was higher in the CFS cohort than in the non-CFS cohort (17.44 vs. 14.53 per 1000 person-year, respectively), with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.14 (95% confidence interval = 1.00–1.30). The risks of fracture between CFS and non-CFS were shown without comorbidity for each would be elevated than with other comorbidities, particularly in osteoporosis. The patients without osteoporosis in the CFS cohort exhibited a 1.16-fold higher risk of fracture than did those in the non-CFS cohort.

Conclusions: We propose that CFS-related fracture might not be associated with osteoporosis. The mechanism for developing CFS-related fracture remains unclear; however, we recommend noticing the prevention of fracture for CFS patients before clarifying the aetiology of CFS-related fracture.

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