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Table 4 Symptoms and wellness scores for CFS subjects at initial classification and follow-up

From: A population-based study of the clinical course of chronic fatigue syndrome

Characteristic Initial classification (N = 65) 1-year follow-up (N = 59) 2-years follow-up (N = 39) 3-years follow-up (N = 24)
CFS symptoms lasting ≥ 6 months (%)     
   Unrefreshing sleep 95.4 88.1 89.7 79.2*
   Muscle aches or muscle pain 92.3 74.6* 74.4* 66.7*
   Unusual fatigue post-exertion 78.5 50.9* 53.9* 33.3*
   Difficulty thinking/concentrating or memory problems 76.9 71.2 59.0 62.5
   Pain in joints 73.9 64.4 64.1 66.7
   Severe headaches 58.5 35.6* 41.0 29.2*
   Tender lymph nodes 16.9 20.3 12.8 4.2
   Sore throat 12.3 6.8 5.3 0.0
Number of CFS symptoms (%)     
   0 0.0 1.7 7.7 4.2
   1–3 0.0 32.2 25.6 50.0
   7–8 7.7 10.2 2.6 0.0
   Mean number (standard deviation) 5 (1.1) 4.1 (1.7)* 4.0 (1.7)* 3.4 (1.5)*
Non-CFS symptoms lasting ≥ 6 months (%)‡     
   Problems getting to sleep or waking up early in the morning 81.4 69.5 74.4 75.0
   General weakness 80.0 61.0* 74.4 50.0*
   Sinus or nasal problems 67.7 50.9* 53.9 58.3
   Sensitivity to light 56.9 52.5 59.0 58.3
   Depression 49.2 44.1 38.5 37.5
   Numbness or tingling 35.9 44.8 30.8 58.3*
   Shortness of breath 35.4 27.1 23.1 45.8
   Stomach or abdominal pain 24.6 30.5 28.2 13.0
   Diarrhea 20.0 20.3 20.5 4.2
   Chills 18.8 13.6 5.1 4.2
   Nausea 12.3 6.8 5.1 4.2
   Fever 12.3 6.8 0.0 0.0
   Mean number (standard deviation) 4.9 (2.0) 4.3 (2.2)* 4.1 (2.1) 4.1 (1.9)
Total CFS and non-CFS symptoms, mean (standard deviation) 10 (2.5) 8.4 (3.5)* 8.1 (3.5)* 7.5 (2.9)*
Wellness scores, mean (standard deviation) 41.2 (17.3) 48.5 (20.7)† 46.8 (20.5) 50.4 (17.6)
  1. *p < 0.05 in GEE models compared with values at T0 † p < 0.05 in paired t-test ‡ Symptoms not included in CFS Case Definition