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People with Diabetes 1 Suffer More from Chronic Fatigue

Update Date: Aug 31, 2013 11:25 AM EDT

People with certain health conditions are at a greater risk of developing other diseases or medical health conditions. Several studies have associated health conditions as risk factors for other illnesses. For example, people with obesity are at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. In a new study, researchers identified a health condition tied to type 1 diabetes. The researchers found that people with type 1 diabetes have a higher prevalence for chronic fatigue.

For this study, the researchers headed by Martine M. Goedendorp, Ph.D. from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands examined 214 participants with type 1 diabetes. The patients' age and sex matched the population-based controls. By comparing these two sets of data, the researchers were able to analyze the prevalence, effect and potential determinants of chronic fatigue. In order to test for chronic fatigue, the researchers used questionnaires and medical records. The researchers also looked into the patients' current health status, functional impairments, comorbidity, diabetes-associated factors and fatigue-related cognitions and behaviors. Some of the participants had continuous glucose monitoring done and kept a diary about their fatigue for five days.

The researchers discovered that people with type 1 diabetes had higher rates of chronic fatigue than people without this health condition. 40 percent of the diabetics suffered from chronic fatigue while only seven percent of the control group did. The researchers also found that chronic fatigue was associated with depression, age, pain, sleeping issues and the lack of physical activity.

"Chronic fatigue is highly prevalent and clinically relevant in [patients with type 1 diabetes]," the authors write according to Medical Xpress. "Its significant relationship with cognitive-behavioral variables and weak association with blood glucose levels suggests that behavioral interventions could be helpful in managing chronic fatigue in [patients with type 1 diabetes]."

The study was published in Diabetes Care.

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