Factors Influencing the Prognosis of Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Ghali et al, 2022)

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Abstract

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a long-term debilitating multisystem condition with poor prognosis. Studies that examined predictors of ME/CFS outcomes yielded contradictory results. We aimed to explore epidemiological and clinical prognostic factors of ME/CFS using operationalized criteria for recovery/improvement. Adult ME/CFS patients who attended the Internal Medicine Department of Angers University Hospital, Angers, France between October 2011 and December 2019, and were followed up until December 2020, were included retrospectively. Their medical records were reviewed for data collection. Patients were classified into two groups according to the presence or absence of recovery/improvement (R/I) and compared for epidemiological characteristics, fatigue features, post-exertional malaise severity, clinical manifestations, and comorbidities. The subgroups of recovered and significantly improved patients were then compared. 168 patients were included. Recovery and improvement rates were 8.3% and 4.8%, respectively. Older age at disease onset was associated with R/I (OR 1.06 [95% CI 1.007–1.110] (p = 0.028)), while diagnostic delay was inversely associated with R/I (OR 0.98 [95% CI 0.964–0.996] (p = 0.036)). The study findings confirmed the poor prognosis of ME/CFS and the deleterious effect of diagnostic delay on disease progression. Interestingly, being older at disease onset was associated with better outcomes, which offers hope to patients for recovery/improvement even at an advanced age.

The study: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4418/12/10/2540