by EBSCO Medical Review Board

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have CFS with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

CFS is more common in women. It is also more common in those 20 to 50 years old. But, it can happen at any age.

Other things that raise the risk of CFS are:

  • Recent infection such as cold, flu, or stomach bug
  • Family history of CFS
  • Mental health problems, such as stress, depression, or anxiety
  • Early abuse, trauma, or family problems
  • History of a burn injury
  • Service in Gulf War

Not all risk factors can be controlled. Steps may be taken to help reduce the risk of others—such as stress and infections.


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What is ME/CFS? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Accessed April 12, 2022.

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