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Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Anders F Mattsson and Stephen M Shalet

Quality of life (QoL) has emerged as an important construct that has found numerous applications across healthcare-related fields, ranging from research and clinical evaluation of treatment effects to pharmacoeconomic evaluations and global healthcare policy. Impairment of QoL is one of the key clinical characteristics in adult GHD and has been extensively studied in the Pfizer International Metabolic Database (KIMS). We provide summarized evidence on GH treatment effects for both clinical and health economic applications based on the KIMS data. The primary focus is on those aspects of QoL research that cannot be investigated in the traditional clinical trial setting, such as specific patient subgroups, cross-country comparisons and long-term follow-up. First, the impact of age, gender, disease onset, primary aetiology, extent of hypopituitarism, previous radiotherapy and obesity on QoL before and during long-term GH replacement is discussed. Secondly, the studies on QoL in relation to country-specific normative values are reviewed. Finally, health economic data derived from KIMS including both burden of disease and utility assessment are evaluated. We conclude that the wide spectrum of analyses performed on the KIMS data allows for practical application of the results not only to research and clinical practice but also to health policy and global medical decision making.

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Chris J Gardner, Anders F Mattsson, Christina Daousi, Márta Korbonits, Maria Koltowska-Haggstrom and Daniel J Cuthbertson

Objective

Prevalence of GH deficiency (GHD) caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) is highly variable. Short-term studies show improvement in quality of life (QoL) during GH replacement (GHR), but long-term data are lacking. The aim of this study was to analyse the clinical characteristics of post-traumatic hypopituitarism and the QoL effects of long-term GHR.

Design/methods

Pfizer International Metabolic Database patients with GHD caused by TBI and by non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) were compared regarding: clinical characteristics at baseline and 1-year of GHR, and QoL response up to 8-years of GHR (QoL-AGHDA total scores and dimensions) in relationship with country-specific norms.

Results

TBI patients compared with NFPA patients were younger, diagnosed with GHD 2.4 years later after primary disease onset (P<0.0001), had a higher incidence of isolated GHD, higher GH peak, a more favourable metabolic profile and worse QoL, were shorter by 0.9 cm (1.8 cm when corrected for age and gender; P=0.004) and received higher GH dose (mean difference: 0.04 mg/day P=0.006). In TBI patients, 1-year improvement in QoL was greater than in NFPA (change in QoL-AGHDA score 5.0 vs 3.5, respectively, P=0.04) and was sustained over 8 years. In TBI patients, socialisation normalised after 1 year of GHR, self-confidence and tenseness after 6 years and no normalisation of tiredness and memory was observed.

Conclusion

Compared with NFPA, TBI patients presented biochemically with less severe hypopituitarism and worse QoL scores. GHR achieved clinically relevant, long-term benefit in QoL.

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Bernhard Saller, Anders F Mattsson, Peter H Kann, Hans P Koppeschaar, Johan Svensson, Marjolein Pompen and Maria Koltowska-Häggström

Objective: This study set out to determine the change in quality of life (QoL) and healthcare utilization during 2 years of growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy in adults with GH deficiency. Data were compared from three European countries.

Design: Analysis was made from KIMS, the Pfizer International Metabolic Database on adult GH deficiency.

Methods: QoL and healthcare utilization were measured at baseline and after 1 and 2 years of GH replacement in patient cohorts from Sweden (n = 302), The Netherlands (n = 103) and Germany (n = 98). QoL was assessed by the QoL-Assessment in Growth Hormone Deficient Adults (QoL-AGHDA) questionnaire, and the KIMS Patient Life Situation Form was used to evaluate healthcare utilization.

Results: QoL improved significantly (P < 0.0001) and comparably in all three cohorts. The improvement was seen during the first year of treatment and QoL remained improved during the second year. The number of days in hospital was reduced by 83% (P < 0.0001) during GH replacement. There were no country-specific differences either at baseline or during follow-up. The same was true for the number of days of sick leave (reduction of 63%; P = 0.0004). Significant reductions were recorded in the number of doctor visits in each of the three cohorts after 2 years of GH replacement (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This study provides a detailed comparative analysis of GH replacement therapy in GHD patients in three European countries. Despite some differences in treatment strategies, the beneficial effects on QoL, patient-reported outcomes and healthcare utilization are essentially similar in the healthcare environment of Western European countries.

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Roger Abs, Anders F Mattsson, Maria Thunander, Johan Verhelst, Miklós I Góth, Patrick Wilton, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Anton Luger

Objective

GH deficiency (GHD) in adults is characterized by a tendency toward obesity and an adverse body composition with visceral fat deposit and may thus predispose to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to assess the observed prevalence proportion (PP) and observed PP over expected PP ratio (standardized prevalence proportion ratio, SPR) of diabetes according to International Diabetes Federation criteria in a large cohort of GH-untreated adult-onset GHD patients.

Design and methods

Associations between baseline variables and diabetes prevalence in 6050 GHD patients from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were studied and robust Poisson-regression analyses were performed. Comparisons between baseline status and HbA1c categories in the nondiabetic patients were done with covariance analysis. P values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results

PP was 9.3% compared with the expected 8.2%. SPR was 1.13 (95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), 1.04–1.23), which was significantly increased in females (1.23; 95% CI, 1.09–1.38%) but not in males (SPR 1.04; 95% CI, 0.92–1.17%). PP increased significantly by age, familial diabetes, country selection, BMI, waist circumference, number of pituitary deficiencies, and GHD etiology. SPR decreased significantly by age and increased significantly by BMI, waist circumference, and IGF1 SDS. Multiple regression model showed that the most important impact on SPR was from age and BMI. HbA1c values of 6.0–6.5% were found in 9.5% of nondiabetic patients and were associated with higher BMI and waist circumference.

Conclusions

GHD is associated with an increased prevalence of diabetes, largely to be explained by the adverse body composition. These data urge toward early initiation of lifestyle modification measures.

Free access

Oskar Ragnarsson, Anders F Mattsson, John P Monson, Helena Filipsson Nyström, Ann-Charlotte Åkerblad, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

Quality of life (QoL) is impaired in hypopituitary patients and patients with primary adrenal insufficiency. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of glucocorticoid (GC) replacement on QoL. The main hypothesis was that ACTH-insufficient patients experience a dose-dependent deterioration in QoL.

Design, patients and methods

This was a retrospective analysis of data from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). Data from 2737 adult GH-deficient (GHD) hypopituitary patients were eligible for analysis. Thirty-six per cent were ACTH sufficient and 64% ACTH insufficient receiving a mean±s.d. hydrocortisone equivalent (HCeq) dose of 22.3±8.7 mg (median 20.0). QoL at baseline and 1 year after commencement of GH replacement was assessed by the QoL-assessment of GHD in adults.

Results

At baseline, no significant difference in QoL was observed between ACTH-sufficient and -insufficient patients. Increasing HCeq dose was associated with worse QoL. Patients on HCeq ≤10 mg had the best and patients receiving ≥25 mg demonstrated the poorest QoL. At 1 year of GH replacement, the improvement in QoL did not differ between ACTH-sufficient and -insufficient patients, and no association was observed between HCeq dose and QoL improvement.

Conclusion

Adult hypopituitary patients with untreated GHD receiving GC replacement have similar QoL as ACTH-sufficient patients. Among ACTH-insufficient patients, there is a dose-dependent association between increasing dose and impaired QoL. This association may be explained by supraphysiological GC exposure although it remains plausible that clinicians may have increased GC doses in order to address otherwise unexplained QoL deficits.

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Johan Verhelst, Anders F Mattsson, Anton Luger, Maria Thunander, Miklós I Góth, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Roger Abs

Objective

An increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adult GH deficiency (GHD) may be related to hypopituitarism but also to the presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Our objective was to investigate the characteristics and prevalence of MetS as well as its comorbidities in adult GHD.

Design

In KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) 2479 patients with severe adult-onset GHD, naïve to GH replacement, with complete information on all MetS components were found. MetS was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP) and the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF).

Methods

The prevalence of MetS was calculated and compared with previously published data from the normal population. Associations were assessed between background variables, baseline variables, comorbidities, and MetS.

Results

MetS was present in 43.1% (NCEP) and in 49.1% (IDF) of patients, clearly higher than data from the normal population (20–30%). MetS prevalence was related to age, GHD duration, and body mass index (BMI), but not to GHD severity, extent of hypopituitarism, or etiology of pituitary disease. Adjusted for age, gender, and BMI, patients with MetS had a higher prevalence ratio for diabetes mellitus: 4.65 (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.29–6.58), for cardiovascular morbidity: 1.91 (95% CI: 1.33–2.75), and for cerebrovascular morbidity: 1.77 (95% CI: 1.09–2.87) than patients without MetS.

Conclusions

MetS is highly prevalent in GHD and is associated with a higher prevalence ratio for comorbidities. The presence of MetS in GHD may therefore contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality found in these patients.

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Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Anders F Mattsson, John P Monson, Paul Kind, Xavier Badia, Felipe F Casanueva, Jan Busschbach, Hans P F Koppeschaar and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective: To determine whether impaired quality of life (QoL) in adults with GH deficiency (GHD) is reversible with long-term GH therapy and whether the responses in QoL dimensions differ from each other.

Methods: QoL was measured by the Quality of Life–Assessment for Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults (QoL-AGHDA) in general population samples in England & Wales, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden (n = 892, 1038, 868 and 1682 respectively) and compared with corresponding patients’ data from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) (n = 758, 247, 197 and 484 respectively) for 4–6 years a follow-up. The subsets of patients from England and Wales, and Sweden with longitudinal data for 5 years’ follow-up were also analysed. The change of the total QoL-AGHDA scores and responses within dimensions were evaluated. Subanalyses were performed to identify any specificity in response pattern for gender, age, disease-onset and aetiology.

Results: Irrespective of the degree of impairment, overall QoL improved dramatically in the first 12 months, with steady progress thereafter towards the country-specific population mean. Problems with memory and tiredness were the most serious burden for untreated patients, followed by tenseness, self-confidence and problems with socialising. With treatment, these improved in the reverse order, normalising for the latter three.

Conclusions: Long-term GH replacement results in sustained improvements towards the normative country-specific values in overall QoL and in most impaired dimensions. The lasting improvement and almost identical pattern of response in each patient subgroup and independent of the level of QoL impairment support the hypothesis that GHD may cause these patients’ psychological problems.

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Roger Abs, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Anders F Mattsson, John P Monson, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Miklós I Góth, Patrick Wilton and Maria Koltowska-Häggström

Objective: The aim of the present study was to clarify the relationship between GH deficiency (GHD) and some cardiovascular risk factors and to analyse the effect of GH replacement therapy in a large number of patients over a prolonged period of time.

Design: Data for analysis were retrieved from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and triglycerides were obtained from 2589 patients at baseline and from 1206 patients after 1 and 2 years of GH replacement therapy. Body mass index (BMI), waist and hip, resting blood pressure and body composition were also measured.

Results: At baseline, the unfavourable effects of GHD were most obvious in the lipid profile demonstrating elevated mean total and LDL-cholesterol, in the increased waist circumference and the elevated BMI. The cholesterol concentration, BMI and body composition were significantly adversely affected by a number of factors, including age, sex and the use of anti-epileptic drugs. The therapeutic effect of GH was essentially uniform across the whole population. GH replacement reduced significantly the mean total and LDL-cholesterol, the waist circumference and the fat mass and was maintained during 2 years.

Conclusions: This analysis of a large number of patients confirmed that GHD adults present with an increased cardiovascular risk. The sustained improvement of the adverse lipid profile and body composition suggests that GH replacement therapy may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and the premature mortality seen in hypopituitary patients with untreated GHD.

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Charlotte Höybye, Pia Burman, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Judith Hey-Hadavi, Ferah Aydin, Cecilia Camacho-Hubner and Anders F Mattsson

Objective

Clinical observations over time of adults with growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) have indicated a shift in patient characteristics at diagnosis. The objective of this study was to compare baseline characteristics of patients diagnosed with adult-onset GHD naive to GH replacement during three study periods (1994–1999 (P1), 2000–2004 (P2), and 2005–2012 (P3)) using the KIMS (Pfizer’s International Metabolic) database.

Methods

Data were retrieved for a total of 6069 patients with adult-onset GHD from six countries (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and UK): P1 (n = 1705), P2 (n = 2397), and P3 (n = 1967).

Results

The proportions of patients with pituitary/hypothalamic tumors and patients with multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies decreased per entry year period, while the proportions with hypertension and diabetes increased. The lag time from diagnosis of pituitary disease to start of GH treatment decreased by 2.9 years over the entry year periods. IGF-1 increased by 0.1 standard deviation score per entry year period. Maximum GH following various stimulation tests, BMI, and waist circumference increased. The use of radiotherapy, glucocorticoid replacement doses, and the proportion of women >50 years on estrogen replacement therapy decreased. The effects of 1 year of GH replacement were similar over the entry year periods despite changes in the patients’ baseline characteristics. An expected increase in fasting blood glucose was seen after 1 year of GH treatment.

Conclusions

The degree of confirmed GHD became less pronounced and more patients with co-morbidities and diabetes were considered for GH replacement therapy, possibly reflecting increased knowledge and confidence in GH therapy gained with time.

Free access

Rolf C Gaillard, Anders F Mattsson, Ann-Charlotte Åkerblad, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, José Cara, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström, John P Monson, Bernhard Saller, Patrick Wilton and Roger Abs

Objective

Hypopituitarism is associated with an increased mortality rate but the reasons underlying this have not been fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate mortality and associated factors within a large GH-replaced population of hypopituitary patients.

Design

In KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) 13 983 GH-deficient patients with 69 056 patient-years of follow-up were available.

Methods

This study analysed standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) by Poisson regression. IGF1 SDS was used as an indicator of adequacy of GH replacement. Statistical significance was set to P<0.05.

Results

All-cause mortality was 13% higher compared with normal population rates (SMR, 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.24). Significant associations were female gender, younger age at follow-up, underlying diagnosis of Cushing's disease, craniopharyngioma and aggressive tumour and presence of diabetes insipidus. After controlling for confounding factors, there were statistically significant negative associations between IGF1 SDS after 1, 2 and 3 years of GH replacement and SMR. For cause-specific mortality there was a negative association between 1-year IGF1 SDS and SMR for deaths from cardiovascular diseases (P=0.017) and malignancies (P=0.044).

Conclusions

GH-replaced patients with hypopituitarism demonstrated a modest increase in mortality rate; this appears lower than that previously published in GH-deficient patients. Factors associated with increased mortality included female gender, younger attained age, aetiology and lower IGF1 SDS during therapy. These data indicate that GH replacement in hypopituitary adults with GH deficiency may be considered a safe treatment.