Background and aims: The present study investigated the prevalence and severity of fatigue in patients with newly diagnosed and untreated ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) and examined relevant disease variables that may influence the severity of fatigue.
Methods: Eighty-one patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (60 with UC and 21 with CD) were assessed for fatigue using two fatigue instruments: the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and a fatigue visual analogue scale (fVAS). Cut-off for fatigue was defined as ≥4 for FSS and ≥50 for fVAS. Results were compared with fatigue scores from age-and gender-matched healthy individuals. Disease activity was assessed by symptom scores using the Mayo score in UC patients and the Harvey-Bradshaw index for CD patients, as well as C-reactive protein (CRP) and faecal calprotectin.
Results: The prevalence of fatigue based on FSS and fVAS was 47 and 42%, respectively, in UC and 62 and 48% in CD. In multivariate regression models, disease activity markers were not associated with fatigue, while a significant relationship was found with age and depression for both fatigue measures.
Conclusions: Close to 50% of patients with IBD reported fatigue at the time of diagnosis. In newly diagnosed patients with active disease, the severity of fatigue was not associated with measures of disease activity.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01551563.
Keywords: Fatigue; IBD.
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