Patients with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome show increased hsCRP compared to healthy controls, by Nina Groven, Egil A Fors, Solveig KlæboReitan, in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity [Available online 7 June 2019]


  • CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia share common features of inflammation.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) is elevated in CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia.
  • CRP remains high in CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia after controlling for age and BMI.

Research abstract:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) are both chronic disorders that have a devastating effect on the lives of the affected patients and their families. Both conditions have overlapping clinical features that partly resemble those of inflammatory disorders. The etiology is still not understood, and it is suggested that the immune system might be a contributing factor. So far, the results are inconclusive.

The purpose of this study was to compare the two conditions and investigate the level of the inflammatory marker high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) in CFS and FM patients compared to healthy controls.

Female participants aged 18–60 years were enrolled in this study. The group consisted of 49 CFS patients, 57 FM patients, and 54 healthy controls. hsCRP levels were significantly higher for both the CFS and the FM groups compared to healthy controls when adjusting for age, smoking, and BMI (p < .001). There was no difference between the two patient groups. The level of hsCRP was affected by BMI but not by age and smoking.

Patients with CFS and FM have higher concentrations of hsCRP compared to healthy controls. This remains significant even after adjusting for BMI. CFS and FM cannot be distinguished from each other on the basis of hsCRP in our study.

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