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Post-hepatitis syndrome revisited

  [ 17 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • February 16, 1995


To examine the role of acute hepatitis A and B infection in the
aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome and psychiatric
morbidity we studied 40 patients with acute viral hepatitis A
or B consecutively admitted to an infectious diseases unit and
studied at least 6 months after recovery. Liver function tests
(LFT) had returned to normal in each case. Forty-seven
patients with other infectious diseases, of which 12 were
presumed viral, admitted immediately after each hepatitis
patient during the same period acted as controls. The main
outcome measures were scores on a fatigue and muscle pain
questionnaire, general health questionnaire (GHQ-12) and
supplementary questions.

The hepatitis cases scored
significantly higher fatigue scores, GHQ-12 scores and muscle
pain scores. Length of time since recovery from illness, age
and sex were not confounding factors. Hepatitis cases were
also less energetic, had greater weight change, had altered
alcohol tolerance, had less exercise tolerance and felt less
fit than the control group and compared with their premorbid
state. Hence fatigue is more common after recovery in patients
hospitalized for hepatitis A and B up to 30 months
post-infection compared with matched controls hospitalized for
other infectious diseases. Hepatitis A and B infection is a
risk factor for post-infection fatigue, intermittent fatigue,
as well as for psychiatric morbidity.

Berelowitz GJ, Burgess AP, Thanabalasingham T, Murray-Lyon IM,
Wright DJ




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