This prospective, cohort study examined the prevalence of sleep
disorders among highly selected patients with chronic fatigue.
On the basis of responses suggestive of sleep pathology on a
screening questionnaire, 59 patients from a university-based
clinic for chronic fatigue who had undergone a medical and
psychiatric evaluation underwent polysomnography. Criteria for
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were met by 64% of patients and
those for a current psychiatric disorder were met by 41%.
Overall, 41% of patients had abnormal results for a multiple
sleep latency test and 81% had at least one sleep disorder,
most frequently sleep apnea (44%) and idiopathic hypersomnia
(12%). In comparing patients who did and did not meet CFS
criteria, no significant differences were found in individual
sleep symptoms or sleep disorders. Likewise, symptoms and
sleep disorders were unrelated to psychiatric diagnoses. In
conclusion, chronically fatigued patients with suggestive
symptoms may have potentially treatable coexisting sleep
disorders that are not associated with meeting criteria for
CFS or a current psychiatric disorder.
Buchwald D, Pascualy R, Bombardier C, Kith P