Aetiology of fatigue in Sri Lanka and its overlap with depression
H. A Ball,
S. H Siribaddana,
The British Journal of Psychiatry,
2010, 197(2), 106-113. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.069674
Fatigue is a common symptom in Western high-income countries but is often
medically unexplained and little is known about its presentation in other
To explore the epidemiology and aetiology of fatigue in Sri Lanka, and of
its overlap with depression.
A total of 4024 randomly selected twins from a population-based register in
Sri Lanka (Colombo district) completed home interviews including the Chalder
The prevalence of fatigue was similar to that in other countries, although
prolonged fatigue may be less common. There was substantial comorbidity with a
screen for lifetime depression. Non-shared environmental factors made the
largest contributions, although genetic/family factors also contributed. The
aetiology appeared consistent across the spectrum of severity.
The aetiology of fatigue is broadly similar in Sri Lanka and Western
high-income countries. Abnormal experiences of fatigue appear to be the
extreme form of more common fatigue, rather than representing independent
entities with different genetic or environmental risk factors.