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Prospective association between hypotension and idiopathic chronic fatigue

Lucas, Katherine Ea; Rowe, Peter Cb; Coresh, Josefa; Klag, Michael Ja,b; Meoni, Lucy Aa; Ford, Daniel Ea,b

Original papers: Epidemiolgy

Objective To determine whether there is an association between hypotension and incident cases of idiopathic chronic fatigue.

Design A prospective study.

Setting Johns Hopkins Precursors Study.

Participants Medical students (n = 876) in graduating classes from 1948 to 1964.

Main outcome measure `Easy fatigability’ reported by participants at 5- or 10-year follow-up after graduation.

Results The unadjusted risk in women was 5.0 (95% exact confidence interval = 1.4 to 17.4) and in men was 1.7 (95% exact confidence interval = 0.8, to 3.5).

Conclusion These preliminary findings suggest that hypotension may be a risk factor for the development of idiopathic chronic fatigue in women.

aBloomberg School of Public Health and bSchool of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Sponsorship: This study was made possible in part by a grant from the AAUW Educational Foundation. None of the authors has financial interests relevant to this research or constituting a conflict of interest.

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Daniel E. Ford MD MPH, The Johns Hopkins Precursors Study, 2024 E. Monument Street, Suite 2-200, Baltimore, MD 21205-2223, USA. Tel: +1 410 614 0986; fax: +1 410 614 0588; e-mail:

Received 14 May 2003 Revised 11 November 2003 Accepted 2 December 2003

See editorial commentary on page 671

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.