Korean J Fam Pract. 2018; 8(4): 488-492  https://doi.org/10.21215/kjfp.2018.8.4.488
Pilot Study: Correlation of Fatigue and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
Gyun-Young Woo, Dong-Hee You, Ja-Young Yoo, Ju-Hye Chung*
Department of Family Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, Republic of Korea
Ju-Hye Chung Tel: +82-31-820-3179, Fax: +82-31-820-3667 E-mail: juana@catholic.ac.kr ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9543-7181
Received: June 14, 2017; Revised: October 16, 2017; Accepted: October 22, 2017; Published online: August 20, 2018.
© The Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

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Background: Chronic fatigue is a common disorder; however, the symptoms are nonspecifically defined. Accordingly, accurate evaluation and quantification of fatigue are critical. There are many tests that measure the level of fatigue; however, studies validating the utility of the Fatigue Severity scale (FSS) and results of hair mineral analysis are inadequate. By clarifying the relationship between the fatigue scoring and hair mineral test results, our aim was determine the efficiency of chronic fatigue assessment using hair mineral analysis.
Methods: The subjects comprised adult patients (n=47, aged ≥19 years) who underwent hair mineral analysis and assessment by FSS and who visited the family medicine departments of university hospitals in South Korea from March 2013 to February 2017. Subjects were divided into two groups based on the standard FSS cutoff of 3.22. An independent t-test was used to compare age, blood pressure, fatigability, stress, anxiety, depression, and the hair tissue mineral analysis of the two groups.
Results: There was a significant difference in the FSS scores measuring stress, anxiety, and depression between the two groups. In addition, there were significant differences in selenium (0.079±0.022 vs. 0.058±0.027 mg%, P=0.032) and sulfur levels (4,733.3±542.189 vs. 4,267.7±518.682 mg%; P=0.016).
Conclusion: Patients with a higher FSS most likely had higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, but lower levels of selenium and sulfur.
Keywords: Fatigue; Anxiety; Depression; Selenium
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