Anxiety disorders: a result of long-term chronic fatigue - the psychiatric characteristics of the sufferers of Iceland disease


  • Parts of this paper were presented at the International Meeting on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dublin, May 19, 1994. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Ramsay Society and the World Federation of Neurology.

  • 1Karl Strand MD, personal comunication.

Eiríkur Líndal Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, National University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland


Objective - In order to clarify the lifetime likelihood of developing psychiatric disorder following the Akureyri disease, we have investigated 55 well documented cases of the Akureyri disease. Materials and methods - All participants were interviewed and diagnosed as to psychiatric disorders according to DSM-III. Results - Of the 55 subjects included in this analysis 53 were women. The mean age of the participants was 67.7 years. The most common problem was agoraphobia with panic attacks 12.7% (P<0.0001); agoraphobia without panic attacks 21.8% (P<0.0001); social phobia 14.5% (P<0.001); simple phobia 18.1% (P<0.05); schizophrenia 3.6% (P<0.01); and alcohol dependence 5.4% (P<0.05). Conclusion - Prolonged chronic fatigue most commonly results in anxiety disorders. Following the infection, the more serious psychiatric disorders do not seem to play a major role in the long run.