Anxiety disorders: a result of long-term chronic fatigue–the psychiatric characteristics of the sufferers of Iceland disease

OBJECTIVE: In order to clarify the lifetime likelihood of developing
psychiatric disorder following the Akureyri disease, we have
investigated 55 well documented cases of the Akureyri disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All participants were interviewed and
diagnosed as to psychiatric disorders according to DSM-III.

RESULTS: Of the 55 subjects included in this analysis 53 were
women. The mean age of the participants was 67.7 years. The
most common problem was agoraphobia with panic attacks 12.7%
(P < 0.0001); agoraphobia without panic attacks 21.8% (P <
0.0001); social phobia 14.5% (P < 0.001); simple phobia 18.1%
(P < 0.05); schizophrenia 3.6% (P < 0.01); and alcohol
dependence 5.4% (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Prolonged chronic fatigue most commonly
results in anxiety disorders. Following the infection, the more
serious psychiatric disorders do not seem to play a major
role in the long run.

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