Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-302156
  • Review

The epidemiology of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalitis in children

  1. Esther Crawley
  1. Correspondence to Dr Esther Crawley, University of Bristol, Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK; esther.crawley{at}
  • Received 2 September 2013
  • Accepted 2 October 2013
  • Published Online First 21 October 2013


Most paediatricians regularly see children with chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalitis (CFS/ME) in their clinics and yet we know little about how common it is, who is affected, whether there are risk factors and how likely a child is to recover (or what might predict recovery). Recent research suggests that this illness is more complicated than previously thought and that rather than being an illness found in middle class families, it is more common in those who are socially deprived. This article reviews what is currently known about this important but little understood condition.

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