Fatigue in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia: General population comparison and predictive factors

Laura B. Oswald, Adriano Venditti, David Cella, Francesco Cottone, Anna Candoni, Lorella Melillo, Roberto Cairoli, Gabriella Storti, Prassede Salutari, Mario Luppi, Francesco Albano, Maria Paola Martelli, Antonio Cuneo, Agostino Tafuri, Silvia Maria Trisolini, Alessia Tieghi, Paola Fazi, Marco Vignetti, Fabio Efficace*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study compared the burden of fatigue between treatment-naïve patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and the general population and investigated patient factors associated with fatigue severity. Methods: Pretreatment patient-reported fatigue was assessed with the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue questionnaire in a sample of 463 newly diagnosed patients with AML who were enrolled in a clinical trial. Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the adjusted mean differences in fatigue between patients with AML and adults from the general population (n=847) by AML disease risk categories. A clinically meaningful difference in fatigue was defined as ≥3 points. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models were used to identify sociodemographic, clinical and molecular correlates of worse fatigue in patients with AML. Results: Patients with AML reported adjusted mean fatigue scores that were 7.5 points worse than the general population (95% CI -8.6 to -6.4, p<0.001). Across AML disease risk categories, adjusted mean differences in fatigue compared with the general population ranged from 6.7 points worse (patients with favourable risk: 95% CI -8.6 to -4.8, p<0.001) to 8.9 points worse (patients with poor risk, 95% CI -10.5 to -7.2, p<0.001). Overall, 91% of patients with AML reported fatigue that was equal to or worse than the general population's median fatigue score. Higher pretreatment fatigue was independently associated with female sex, WHO performance status ≥1 and lower platelet levels. Conclusions: Patients with newly diagnosed AML reported worse fatigue than the general population, and mean differences exceeded twice the threshold for clinical significance. Our findings may help to identify patients with AML most likely to benefit from supportive care interventions to reduce fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2312
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • fatigue
  • leukaemia
  • quality of life
  • supportive care
  • symptoms and symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Medical–Surgical


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