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Premorbid risk markers for chronic fatigue syndrome in the 1958 British birth cohort

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I've just read this. Can't say I find it particularly exciting but will post some notes. Here's the abstract:

  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Parental physical abuse was measured retrospectively

    The abstract gives the impression that the "parental physical abuse" finding was a prospective one i.e. the data was collected when the individuals were children. However, it is actual based on a retrospective question, asked when the individuals were 45. This leaves open the possibility of what is called "recall bias". I think this is an important issue with ME/CFS - I've been severely affected with ME/CFS for 17 years now and have found my mind wander back to occasions before I was ill (or severely affected). I have remembered all sorts of situations which stressed me a little - not so much that I put much thought into them at the time or even in the years after they occurred, but they've come back now. For example, I remember when I was around 9 or 10, a man who was a neighbour came out and complained that we shouldn't be playing ball outside my house as there was plenty of green area. It wasn't as if this stopped us playing as there was plenty of road so if we didn't want to play on the green e.g. we were playing curbs where one tries to get the ball to bounce of the ball, we played elsewhere on the road. So really a minor incident but it comes back to my mind now and again and I think I would have completely forgotten about incidents like this if I had never got ME/CFS. So the illness could alter what people report - two people could go through the same type of situation but the person with ME/CFS might remember it but the other person might not; or might not see it as "physical abuse" as it didn't seem particularly bad while the person with ME/CFS nows sees it all as a bit traumatic.

    This is what they looked at in this paper:
    Even in the results in Table 1 (i.e. only adjusted for gender), for the CFS/ME group (which I find the most interesting), there were only three significant odds ratios. Two of them are parental physical abuse (reported at age 45) and parental sexual abuse (reported at age 45). The third one, cumulative adversity, appears to combine the two types i.e. prospective and retrospective, judging by the abstract for reference 16:

    Also, it's only increased for 3+ adversities, which only covers 6.3% of CFS/ME cases.

    For the other prospective categories: Divorce of parents; In care (716); Paternal absence (716); Maternal absence (716); Neglected/underfed appearance (711) and Illness in the household (716), there was no increased risk for CFS/ME cases.

    The respective percentages for parental physical abuse (reported at age 45) and parental sexual abuse (reported at age 45) are just 16.2% and 6.6% respectively so they can't explain most of the cases. They dont give a figure for the percentage with neither which could be anything from 77.2% to 83.8%.
    WillowJ likes this.
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Two definitions used: self-reported CFS/ME and CFS-like


    [Comment: the female: male ratio is usually higher]
    ----------
    The other definition looks suspect to me:
    I'm not familiar with the Malaise Inventory but it seems to be designed to measure distress but all 24 items including the seven used for the CFS-like being part of the system:
    So the measure they used to measure psychopathology includes:
    feeling tired most of the time, bad headaches, difficulty falling asleep/
    staying asleep, backache, rheumatism/fibrositis (and possibly
    and being unable to concentrate (although I'm thinking that comes from the GHQ12 from the wording above?))
    It certainly says 7 symptoms are involved.

    One has to wonder if this is a good inventory to measure either the CDC symptoms (could it be measuring a depressive type illness?) or indeed whether it is good to measure psychopathology (if anyone has the questions, please post them - I haven't looked around myself).

  4. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Free data supplement

    There's a free data supplement at: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/suppl/2011/08/16/bjp.bp.110.083956.DC1/DS83956.pdf
    where one can see some of the other risk factors they looked at.

    As one can see, they checked for lots of risk factors (remember these aren't them all). And they used a 95% CI. One can find things by chance if one does this without them being real risk factors.

    ------
    I'm not sure how much more time on I want to spend writing up notes on this so might leave it for now.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Thanks D.

    It's a bit cheeky for them to make it sound like the child abuse thing was prospective.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  6. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Can we be sure the CFS/ME measuresments are all pre-morbid (i.e. before the illness)

    One of my big concerns about these sorts of study is whether the measurements are really pre-morbid i.e. before the person got sick with "CFS/ME".
    If in fact some people were actually ill with undiagnosed CFS/ME, this would greatly influence how they and other people would be behaving and how other people would see their behaviour.
    The authors claim they adjust for this for the CFS/ME group but can we really be sure. These are people who were born in 1958. The diagnosis only started becoming common in the mid- to late-1980s. And still large numbers would be missed.

    Some people could also be still comparatively well but still not be "pre-morbid" e.g. they had an ME-type illness for a while, largely got over it but still had it in the background/have to be careful how they live their life (which could be stressful if one never got a diagnosis).

    I think they don't even try to adjust for it at all for the CFS-like group (because many of these people don't have a diagnosis so it's not clear how they would do it).
  7. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Heres some of their lovely speculation:
  8. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Thanks for looking Dolphin - I agree with KFG - the b....s..t express is leaving platform 1 shortly.
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

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    In addition, I would think that if you studied any group of ill patients like for example people with heart disease or people with cancer, etc.. you would probably find similar statistics. I'm sure that people who had a lot of trauma that they went through in their early years, had the stress affects their immune systems somehow and they are prone for many illnesses. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to realize that. I don't think that CFS stands out compared to any other illness.
    Sallysblooms likes this.
  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    They give one reference:
    That may or may not be a representative study.
  11. Nielk

    Nielk

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    It's interesting to me that the study was performed only on women. I would think that men who were abused or had childhood traumas would have similar consequences. why define it by sex?
    WillowJ likes this.
  12. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Who knows. Men can be victims of domestic violence - but there's much more focus on women with a lot of the studies just being done on female victims. And "women's studies" is a much more bigger area than "men's studies". So perhaps it was influenced by such attitudes/done by researchers who often look at women-only groups (or used that sort of fund).

    In terms of ME/CFS, it is slightly frustrating how many studies in recent years are just done on women. Although hopefully it should much difference and at the moment, I'm generally happy that there are any studies done at all.
  13. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    When I was 4 years old, my Dad punched me so hard in the mouth I went flying across the room, and had to get surgery because he'd punched my lips through my teeth...
    Dad by way wasn't a drug/booze user or evil, just very screwed up by particularly horrible childhood, plus diabetes TypeII lazy stupid docs hadn't diagnosed despite frequent warnings, and he'd just "flip out" at times and barely remember doing it.
    Very wrong of course, but he's not evil, if you know him long enough you realize someone took a very kind, generous 5 year old kid, and wrecked him :/

    That and fact I was kind hearted, very intelligent, big (*) and live in one of the roughest places in Europe = "interesting" childhood. :rolleyes:
    (*) you often find small, nasty little ratbags love picking on someone bigger than them to make them feel bigger, those typoes cause more damn trouble, sigh. they also "squish" good :victory::thumbsup:

    thus on the surface that would tend to confirm the psychobabblers crap...

    problem is, it ain't so simple. I didn't knuckleunder, I knuckled back :p
    though with actual violence as I keep telling folk, best weapon is yer feet...used for not BEING there, locomotion, in the damn first place! lol. He who walks away, lives another day and ain't a stupid idiot. Violence suuuuucks, even if you "win", it's ugly and corrosive
    such stuff isn't good for folk, hell no, ugh, but many folk end up being better able to cope with the crap life throws at 'em, in fact
    though mostly it's philosophical that was the best thing all the crap taught me: how to escape it, how to think about it, understand why such occured, how to avoid such, aid others etc
    nothing beats dozing at the riverside, fishing rod in hand, and yer pooch beside ya: true nirvana :)

    I was doing fine until damn flu-like bug/toxic damp proofing resulted in ME, blech :(
    and living next door to "heavy metal polluted hell" didn't help

    if it was largely childhood abuse that leads ot ME, then in my part of the world MOST folk would bloody well have it! so that hypothesis is BULL-F*****-SH*T!
    to suggest though, that the stress/problematic issues may worsen ME symptoms if you get it, that I'd say is logical, as stress, of all forms, does worsen it.

    thsoe with higher levels of stress, less experience in coping with woes, those who push themselves through the early period (*), I suggest will have worse outcomes in general
    (me! damn idiot but heck I didn't know better, doctors SHOULD have if not for the damn Weasels)

    As usual the psychobabblers divorce from real experience and logic is profound, sigh
  14. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I'm sorry silver that you had to go through those horrible experiences. I think your intelligence is what pulled you through. You used your brain to outsmart thugs. You used your brain to understand your father's shortcomings. although I doubt that at the age of 5, you really understood that. Now, with hindsight, it makes sense to you but, as a 5 year old, all you know is that you have been hurt by someone who was supposed to love you. I think that you talk tough but, you are a really sensitive caring individual. The more sensitive or empathic of a personality one has the more hurt they absorb. I'm only saying that because i also had traumatic experiences as a child and also later. They were situations I couldn't avoid and I have a super sensitive nature. I don't think that automatically that means that it is the cause of disease. I first came down with Crohn's at age a5 and was very ill with it for 15 years and then when I was 47, I came down with CFS. I think that maybe my background made it easier for me to have a weak immune system and when these diseases struck me, I was in a weakened state and they were able to take over my body. I have such a high viral and inflammation load in my body. It all started with a terrible virus but, it could be that if I had a strong immune system I would have been able to fight it off? I really don't know.
    WillowJ likes this.
  15. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Nielk
    oh yeah I know I'm a big blowhard, no worries, hehe! ;)
    Lot of folk alas suffered a lot worse :/
    Most folk are soft, and that's *GOOD*, it's the crap they get that makes them troubled and "hard", nearly everyone takes things very much to heart, and thus can get hurt so we all develop ways to cope.
    Problem is many of the folk who don't care are often, monsters, ick, or just damn useless (they'd walk over a dying man rather than give aid)

    yeah I was lucky I not only had the wits, but most of my family were fantastic folks, full of humour, play, art, cuddles etc :) I miss playing cards, Scrabble etc with Grandpa and all the folks who've passed on, sigh
    When you see so many of the screwed up folk round my way, it's no wonder we have problems like "Neds", sigh :/

    Folk tend ot forget that kids are often loaded with bugs, because they're young and thus immune system is "learning" so it's weak, and we cram hundreds of kids into tight proximity (schools. and I think that's damn stupid beyond belief, big shcools = more problems)
    And I suspect the huge number of vaccinations plus agricultural poisons in food don't help.

    ick, sorry you have that form such a young age :(
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Silver,

    Sounds like you had a very loving upbringing with the extended family. That is great!!

    "We all develop ways to cope". Yes, I agree but, some coping mechanisms are healthy and some are not. If for example, you were forced to repress your feelings and didn't have a voice, keeping all the hurt inside is not healthy. This is from a private study of one person who I know best of all.
  17. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Alas, you are correct :/
    many of those weith genuine psychological problems get them form the abuse they suffer as kids.
    And often abuse isn't violence, but sheer neglect, which can be a lot worse.
    Violence is visible, "understandable" and thus usually provokes reaction, aid, intervention etc

    but neglect, folk think of it as "kids locked in cellars" nope, more often it's kids excluded from a normal family life, sent away to school, live cold, sterile lives...
    Where as direct abuse from one person but with plenty of love/warmth on the otherhand, you have much better rolemodels and comfort

    Poor old dad, as a kid, he fell down a huge embankment, split his skull open on a concrete support at the base, his mum picked him up, slapped him, told him to stop crying...ye gods :/
  18. Nielk

    Nielk

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    It sounds like now as an adult, assimilating what your father had to endure gives you a better understanding of why he did what he did. It sounds like you feel sorry for what he had to go through. At least you have your mom to keep you company.
    By the age of 29, I had lost both parents and two sons. Not an easy task for a young woman to live with. I guess it made me the person i am today. (for better or worse)

    I'm just saying, there s a price to pay for tragedies that we go through. You have to be a robot not to have these things affect you. Additionally,if you are a sensitive type to begin with, it will leave it's scars. I truly believe that everything that happens was meant to happen but, it doesn't make it easier to live with it.
  19. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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  20. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I agree Neilk. Was this written in the UK? Enough with the psych stuff. Time to put all energy into the right studies.

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