Increased Incidence of Fatigue in Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders: Prevalence and Associations Within the US Immunodeficiency Network Registry

J Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb;37(2):153-165. doi: 10.1007/s10875-016-0367-1. Epub 2017 Jan 26.


Introduction: Patients with primary immunodeficiency (PID) often report fatigue, yet this symptom has not been studied in PID. Fatigue affects 6-7.5% of healthy adults. The goal of this study is to estimate the prevalence of fatigue in patients with PID and investigate its associated factors.

Methods: We analyzed 2537 PID patients registered in USIDNET to determine responses to the field "fatigue" in the core registry form. Demographics, immune phenotypes, and comorbid conditions were compared between fatigued and non-fatigued patients to identify relevant associations and potential drivers. A focused analysis was performed for patients with predominantly antibody deficiency disorders (PADs).

Results: Fatigue was reported in 25.9% (95% CI 23.7-28.3) of PAD patients, compared to 6.4% (95% CI 4.9-8.2) of non-PAD. Patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) had the highest prevalence of fatigue (p < 0.001) among all PID diagnoses. Other factors that were associated with a higher rate of fatigue among PAD patients included female sex, higher BMI, depression, bronchiectasis, and autoimmunity. Additionally, fatigued PAD patients had lower absolute lymphocyte, CD3, CD4, and CD8 counts compared to non-fatigued patients.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that fatigue is overrepresented in PAD patients. Prospective studies to estimate prevalence, risk factors, and fatigue etiology in PID are warranted, so therapeutic interventions can be considered.

Keywords: Fatigue; Primary immune deficiency disorder; USIDnet.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology
  • Incidence
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult