Quality of Life in Cushing’s Syndrome Remission

Quality of Life key on keyboardIn a study published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Endocrinology, a team of researchers set out to explore the factors that may lead to impaired quality of life (QoL) in patients in remission of Cushing’s syndrome (CS). The study, “Impaired quality of life in patients in long-term remission of Cushing's syndrome of both adrenal and pituitary origin: a remaining effect of longstanding hypercortisolism?” was led by researchers in the Netherlands. It appeared online in August 2012.

Researchers examined data on 123 patients in remission of CS. The mean age of individuals in the study was 52.2 ± 12.0 years; 106 of the participants were women. The mean length of CS remission was 13.3 ± 10.4 years. QoL was assessed using 7 validated questionnaires. A similar set of questionnaires was given to a control group matched on both age and gender (n=105).

Researchers examined subgroups of the patients in remission with the goal of understanding whether or not the origin of CS affected later QoL. They were also interested in the potential effects of the following factors: gender, age, length of remission, treatment strategies, and hormonal deficiencies.

The results showed that QoL in the total group of patients in CS remission (and in each of the subgroups) was significantly worse on the majority of studied dimensions, compared to the QoL in the control group. No differences were found based on the origin of CS (adrenal or pituitary gland). However, the worse QoL was not found for patients in remission of pituitary CS who did not have hormonal deficiencies and who had impaired QoL on half of the studied dimensions.

The study authors conclude that their findings demonstrate that QoL is often impaired in patients with long-term remission of Cushing’s syndrome, regardless of hormonal deficiencies, patient treatment strategies, and CS origin.

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