Research is ongoing to explore the possible causes and risk factors for CFS. There are some characteristics that indicate individuals at greater risk for developing CFS:
- CFS occurs four times more frequently in women than in men, although people of either sex can develop the disease
- CFS occurs most often in people in their 40s and 50s, but people of all ages can get CFS
- CFS is less common in children than in adults
- CFS is more common in adolescents than in younger children
- CFS occurs in all ethnic and racial groups and in all the countries of the world
- CFS affects people of all socioeconomic strata
- CFS is sometimes seen in members of the same family, but that does not indicate that it is contagious. However, there may be a familial or genetic link.
- CFS affects people who are overweight and inactive.
- Chronic unresolved stress also predisposes an individual to CFS.