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Predictors ID'd for Progression of Mono to Chronic Fatigue

More physical symptoms, immune irregularities seen at baseline in college students who develop postmononucleosis chronic fatigue syndrome

Predictors ID'd for Progression of Mono to Chronic Fatigue

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Many college students fully recover from infectious mononucleosis (IM) within six weeks, but nearly one-quarter go on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to a study recently published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., from DePaul University in Chicago, and colleagues examined predictors of myalgic encephalomyelitis/CFS (ME/CFS) among 4,501 college students.

The researchers found that 5.3 percent developed IM, and six months later, 55 of 238 (23 percent) met criteria for ME/CFS and 157 (66 percent) were asymptomatic. Using 67 of the 157 asymptomatic students as controls, the researchers observed no differences between students with severe ME/CFS and those who were asymptomatic in terms of stress, coping, anxiety, or depression. However, there were differences noted in several behavioral measures, and those with severe ME/CFS had significantly lower levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-13. At diagnosis, the two ME/CFS groups tended to have more autonomic complaints and behavioral symptoms, while the severe ME/CFS group had higher levels of IL-12 and lower levels of IL-13 than the recovered group.

"At baseline, those who developed ME/CFS had more physical symptoms and immune irregularities, but not more psychological symptoms, than those who recovered," the authors write.

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