A doctor and patient discuss chronic fatigue

Who Gets Chronic Fatigue?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder that is recognized as extreme fatigue, making you feel so exhausted it impairs your ability to perform normal, daily functions. Fatigue does not get better after resting. However, the major symptoms of the syndrome can be treated.
The cause of this extreme fatigue is idiopathic (unknown) and difficult to diagnose. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not caused by an underlying medical condition, but some believe it may be caused by viral infections of mental stress or a combination of factors. 

Who is at risk for chronic fatigue?

Some groups of people are at higher risk for chronic fatigue syndrome. These groups include:

  • People in their 40s and 50s: Although the syndrome can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen among people in this age group.
  • Males: Chronic fatigue syndrome occurs 4 times more often in women than men.
  • Stressed People: People who have trouble managing stress may be more likely to develop chronic fatigue.
Last Updated: August 10, 2016

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