Epidemiology of paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome in Australia

Sarah Knight, Shane Elders, Jill Rodda, Adrienne Harvey, Lionel Lubitz, Kathy Rowe, Colette Reveley, Sabine Hennel, Susan Towns, Kasia Kozlowska, Donald N. Payne, Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, Adam Scheinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To estimate the paediatrician-diagnosed incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in Australia, and describe demographic and clinical features, as well as approaches to diagnosis and management.

Methods The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit facilitates monthly national surveillance of uncommon conditions seen by paediatricians. Data from young people aged

Results A total of 164 cases of newly diagnosed CFS in young people aged 4-17 years were identified for inclusion. The estimated national incidence for children aged 4-9 years was 0.25 per 100 000 per annum. In children aged 10-17 years, the estimated incidence of paediatrician-diagnosed cases for Victoria (17.48 per 100 000) was substantially greater than other Australian states (range 1.31-5.51 per 100 000). Most cases were female and Caucasian, most commonly presenting after an infectious illness with symptoms gradual in onset. The majority were diagnosed at least 13 months after symptom onset. Symptoms, associations, investigations and management strategies were highly variable.

Conclusions Current findings suggest that, consistent with other countries, the Australian incidence of CFS in children aged

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-738
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


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