Sex differences in persistent fatigue

Women Health. 1997;26(3):51-70. doi: 10.1300/j013v26n03_04.


This study examines factors differentiating women and men who suffer from fatigue. It is based on diaries kept by Dutch citizens over a 21-day period between 1987-88. The majority of those with persistent fatigue complaints (PFs) were male, middle-aged, lower-educated and unemployed, and they had more psychological and psycho-social problems than the incidental fatigue sufferers (IFs). Factors differentiating the PFs from the IFs are not the same for both sexes. Moreover, on a number of socio-demographic variables PF men and women differed less from each other than IF men and women. Future research should focus on the gender-specificity of the factors that lead to the development of persistent fatigue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatigue / classification
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class