Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a widely recognized problem, characterized by prolonged, debilitating fatigue and a characteristic group of accompanying symptoms, that occurs four times more frequently in women than in men. The aim of the study was to determine the existence of oxidative stress and its possible consequences in female patients with CFS.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Twenty-four women aged 15-45 who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for CFS with no comorbidities were recruited and were age matched to a control group of 19 healthy women. After conducting the routine laboratory tests, levels of the lipid oxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein oxidation protein carbonyl (CO) were determined.
The CFS group had higher levels of triglycerides (p = 0.03), MDA (p = 0.03) and CO (p = 0.002) and lower levels of HDL cholesterol (p = 0.001) than the control group. There were no significant differences in the levels of total protein, total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.
The CFS group had an unfavorable lipid profile and signs of oxidative stress induced damage to lipids and proteins. These results might be indicative of early proatherogenic processes in this group of patients who are otherwise at low risk for atherosclerosis. Antioxidant treatment and life style changes are indicated for women with CFS, as well as closer observation in order to assess the degree of atherosclerosis.