Fatigue in Depressed Patients with Evidence of Inflammation

Éimear M Foley, Joel T. Parkinson, Nils Kappelmann, Golam Khandaker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


Evidence suggests that elevated inflammation levels in depressed patients are associated with higher prevalence of somatic symptoms, such as fatigue. While the association between inflammation and fatigue is well established, existing studies often only use single items on depression scales to measure this multi-faceted trait. As a result, an in-depth assessment of this key inflammation-related symptom domain is currently lacking.
Using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, we investigated fatigue symptomatology in 84 patients meeting International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision criteria for current depressive episode. Participants were grouped as those with (CRP≥3mg/L) and without (CRP<3mg/L) evidence of inflammation.
After adjusting for potential confounders, regression analyses showed that inflammation was associated with increased scores for total fatigue (adjusted mean difference=9.71; 95% CI, 3.09, 6.33; P<0.01), general fatigue (adjusted mean difference=1.82; 95% CI, 0.51, 3.13; P<0.01), and physical fatigue (adjusted mean difference=3.99; 95% CI, 1.99, 5.98; P<0.01). The group with inflammation also had significantly higher scores for mental fatigue (unadjusted mean difference=1.73; 95% CI, 0.32, 3.13), reduced motivation (unadjusted mean difference=1.76; 95% CI, 0.51, 3.01), and reduced activity (unadjusted mean difference=2.61; 95% CI, 0.82, 4.40) in the unadjusted analyses.
Our findings highlight that elevated CRP is associated with overall higher fatigue scores in depressed individuals, the domains of general and physical fatigue being most strongly associated with inflammation. Replication of these findings in larger samples is required.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2021
Event2021 Online British Association for Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting -
Duration: 19 Jul 202121 Jul 2021


Conference2021 Online British Association for Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting
Abbreviated title2021 Online BAP Summer Meeting


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