Decreasing mortality and changes in treatment patterns in patients with acromegaly from a nationwide study

in European Journal of Endocrinology
Correspondence should be addressed to D S Olsson; Email:
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New therapeutic strategies have developed for the management of acromegaly over recent decades. Whether this has improved mortality has not been fully elucidated.


The primary aim was to investigate mortality in a nationwide unselected cohort of patients with acromegaly. Secondary analyses included time trends in mortality and treatment patterns.


A total of 1089 patients with acromegaly were identified in Swedish National Health Registries between 1987 and 2013. To analyse time trends, the cohort was divided into three periods (1987–1995, 1996–2004 and 2005–2013) based on the year of diagnosis.

Main outcome measures

Using the Swedish population as reference, standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Overall SMR was 2.79 (95% CI: 2.43–3.15) with 232 observed and 83 expected deaths. Mortality was mainly related to circulatory diseases (SMR: 2.95, 95% CI: 2.35–3.55), including ischemic heart disease (2.00, 1.35–2.66) and cerebrovascular disease (3.99, 2.42–5.55) and malignancy (1.76, 1.27–2.26). Mortality decreased over time, with an SMR of 3.45 (2.87–4.02) and 1.86 (1.04–2.67) during the first and last time period, respectively (P = .015). During the same time periods, the frequency of pituitary surgery increased from 58% to 72% (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of hypopituitarism decreased from 41% to 23% (P < 0.001).


Excess mortality was found in this nationwide cohort of patients with acromegaly, mainly related to circulatory and malignant diseases. Although still high, mortality significantly declined over time. This could be explained by the more frequent use of pituitary surgery, decreased prevalence of hypopituitarism and the availability of new medical treatment options.

Downloadable materials

  • Table S1. Treatment codes for surgical and radiotherapeutic procedures
  • Table S2. Number of Deaths from Various Forms of Malignant Disease among Patients with Acromegaly in Sweden between 1987 and 2013
  • Table S3. Internal analysis of standardized mortality ratio in Patients with Acromegaly in Sweden between 1987 and 2013 by Hypopituitarism, Surgery, and Gender and Age at Diagnosis


     European Society of Endocrinology

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    Mortality in patients with acromegaly in Sweden followed between 1987 and 2013. Overall mortality in the entire cohort of patients (A), men (B) and women (C) with acromegaly. ***P < 0.001; and *P < 0.05.

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