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.
Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Anders F Mattsson and Stephen M Shalet
Mohamad Maghnie, Anders Lindberg, Maria Koltowska-Häggström and Michael B Ranke
Neuroimaging has become an essential part of the diagnostic process in children with GH deficiency (GHD). The aim of the study was to document the frequency of neuroanatomical abnormalities in a very large cohort of children with GHD and to relate these findings to patient clinical characteristics.
Design and methods
Results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were reported in 15 043 of 43 725 children with non-acquired GHD (idiopathic, neurosecretory dysfunction (NSD) and known congenital cause) who were enrolled in KIGS (Pfizer International Growth Database) between 1987 and 2011. Clinical characteristics of patients before GH treatment with normal MRI (idiopathic GHD (IGHD) and NSD) were compared with those of patients with abnormal pituitaries (hypoplasia, empty sella (ES), HME (hypoplastic anterior pituitary, missing pituitary stalk and ectopic posterior pituitary)).
Abnormal MRIs were found in 4032 (26.8%) children, within which ES (n=1178 (7.8%)) and HME (n=1019 (6.8%)) were the most frequent findings. In 2361 children diagnosed as IGHD or NSD before MRI examination, anatomical abnormalities ((pituitary hypoplasia: n=974); (HME: n=459)) were documented. Patients with anatomical abnormalities had more severe characteristics of GHD: normal MRI < pituitary hypoplasia < ES < HME.
GHD is associated with a great variety of neuroanatomical abnormalities as identified by MRI. The investigation and evaluation of MRI need to be conducted in a structured mode. There is an association between anatomical and functional abnormalities of the pituitary.
Charlotte Hoybye, Peter Jönsson, John P Monson, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström, Václav Hána, Mitchell Geffner and Roger Abs
The impact of the aetiology of childhood-onset GH deficiency (CO-GHD) on the clinical presentation during adulthood and the response to GH replacement has been poorly defined. Our study aims to characterize CO-GHD in adults due to different aetiologies and evaluate the effect of 2 years of GH replacement therapy.
Design and methods
Data from 353 adults with CO-GHD from Pfizer International Metabolic Database KIMS were retrospectively grouped according to GHD aetiology: non-organic disorder (n=147), organic pituitary disease (n=159), and brain tumour (n=47). Extent of pituitary dysfunction, IGF-I concentration, lipid concentrations and quality-of-life (QoL) were assessed at baseline and after 2 years of GH replacement.
GHD was diagnosed at a later age in the organic pituitary group than in the other groups, resulting in a shorter duration of GH treatment during childhood. However, the final height was greater in the organic pituitary group. Panhypopituitarism was most common in the non-organic disorder and in the organic pituitary groups, while isolated GHD was more prominent in the brain tumour group. Serum IGF-I levels were the lowest in the non-organic group. QoL was the poorest in the brain tumour group. Lipid profile and QoL improved significantly during GH replacement.
The adverse consequences of CO-GHD in adulthood vary between aetiologies, but improve similarly with GH treatment. It is, therefore, important to consider retesting all patients with CO-GHD in early adulthood and, if persistent severe GHD is confirmed, recommence GH replacement.
Chris J Gardner, Anders F Mattsson, Christina Daousi, Márta Korbonits, Maria Koltowska-Haggstrom and Daniel J Cuthbertson
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.
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.
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.
Compared with NFPA, TBI patients presented biochemically with less severe hypopituitarism and worse QoL scores. GHR achieved clinically relevant, long-term benefit in QoL.
Roger Abs, Anders F Mattsson, Maria Thunander, Johan Verhelst, Miklós I Góth, Patrick Wilton, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Anton Luger
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.
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.
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.
Johan Verhelst, Anders F Mattsson, Anton Luger, Maria Thunander, Miklós I Góth, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Roger Abs
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Pat Kendall-Taylor, Peter J Jönsson, Roger Abs, Eva Marie Erfurth, Maria Koltowska-Häggström, David Anthony Price and Johan Verhelst
Background: Craniopharyngioma is a parasellar tumour that, although benign, tends to behave aggressively. It can occur at any age but most commonly presents in childhood or adolescence.
Objectives: To investigate the frequency and severity of problems associated with craniopharyngioma, using the large international database (KIMS) for adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD), and to assess the differences between the adult onset (AO, aged 18 or above) disease and adults with childhood onset (CO) craniopharyngioma.
Design: Inclusion criteria were: an established diagnosis of craniopharyngioma, severe GHD and no recent GH treatment. These criteria were fulfilled by 393 (184 female, 209 male) patients; 241 had AO (mean age 28.7±8.7 years) and 152 had CO disease (age 42.0±12.3 years). Disease history, clinical features and anthropometric data were recorded at the time of enrolment in the database, and body composition, serum IGF-I, serum lipids and quality of life (QoL) were assessed.
Results: Peak age at onset of craniopharyngioma was 15–20 years. Ninety percent of patients had been treated surgically. CO patients were shorter than AO patients and had much lower IGF-I standard deviation scores (SDS). The majority had hypopituitarism and over 60% had diabetes insipidus. Body mass index (BMI) was higher in AO males (30.2±5.5) than in CO males (28.5±7.5); waist circumference was also greater. Obesity was more common in AO patients (51.8% vs 39.1%). Body composition did not differ between groups. Cholesterol and triglycerides were higher in AO than in CO patients, but high density lipoprotein (HDL)- and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol did not differ. Quality of life, assessed by Quality of Life-Assessment of Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults (QoL-AGHDA) and the Nottingham Health Profile, was markedly reduced in all groups with no significant differences between them; the QoL-AGHDA score correlated with age at onset of both craniopharyngioma and GHD, and also with BMI in AO patients.
Conclusions: These data emphasise the generally poor state of health of patients treated for craniopharyngioma, with respect to endocrine and metabolic function, and also the markedly reduced quality of life. In addition to GHD, most patients have evidence of hypothalamic damage with associated obesity, diabetes insipidus and hypopituitarism. Adults with CO craniopharyngioma were shorter, had lower IGF-I, lower BMI, less obesity and slightly lower blood lipid levels than patients with AO craniopharyngioma.
Thierry Brue, Frederic Castinetti, Frida Lundgren, Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Patrick Petrossians and on behalf of all ACROSTUDY investigators
Pegvisomant (Somavert, Pfizer Inc.) is the first and only available GH receptor antagonist. ACROSTUDY is an international surveillance study that offers inclusion in a web-based registry to all patients with acromegaly treated with pegvisomant; it aims at monitoring long-term safety and efficacy of this compound.
Patients and methods
This report summarizes the main baseline characteristics of this particular population of patients. In February 2009, over 300 centres in 10 countries had contributed 792 patients. A gradual increase in cumulative patient recruitment was observed since the launching of ACROSTUDY in 2004: from 116 patients in 2005, it steeply increased to 792 at the latest data freeze in February 2009. At the time of enrolment, 91.8% of patients were already treated with pegvisomant but baseline was considered at the time of pegvisomant start. IGF1 concentrations were measured at local laboratories.
Of all patients, 80% were reported to have had surgery and 33% to have received radiation therapy. Of the 792 patients, 14% had received no prior medical treatment before pegvisomant start, 65.9% had received somatostatin analogues and 18.6% dopamine agonists. Interestingly, 66.7% had received only pegvisomant at study start, while it was taken in association with dopamine agonists in 5.7%, with somatostatin analogues in 23.4% and with both types of agents in 3.8%. Mean IGF1 at baseline was 522 ng/ml.
Analysis of the baseline features of these patients treated with pegvisomant and reported in the ACROSTUDY database underscores the severity of the disease in this subset of the population of patients with acromegaly previously unresponsive to several medical, surgical or radiation treatment approaches.
Fahrettin Keleştimur, Peter Jonsson, Senay Molvalilar, Jose Manuel Gomez, Christoph J Auernhammer, Ramiz Colak, Maria Koltowska-Häggström and Miklos I Goth
Objective: Sheehan’s syndrome occurs as a result of ischaemic pituitary necrosis due to severe postpartum haemorrhage. It is one of the most important causes of hypopituitarism, and hence growth hormone deficiency (GHD), in developing countries. However, little is known about the effects of growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy in patients with Sheehan’s syndrome.
Design: The demographic background characteristics of 91 GH-deficient patients with Sheehan’s syndrome (mean age ± s.d., 46.3 ± 9.4 years) were compared with those of a group of 156 GH-deficient women (mean age ± s.d., 51.5 ± 13.1 years) with a non-functional pituitary adenoma (NFPA). The baseline characteristics and the effects of 2 years of GH replacement therapy were also studied in the 91 patients with Sheehan’s syndrome and an age-matched group of 100 women with NFPA (mean age ± s.d. 44.5 ± 10.2 years).
Results: All patients were enrolled in KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). Patients with Sheehan’s syndrome were significantly younger at pituitary disorder onset, diagnosis of GHD and at entry into KIMS than patients with NFPA (P < 0.01), and had significantly lower insulin-like growth factor I levels (P < 0.001). At baseline, quality of life (QoL) was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in patients with Sheehan’s syndrome compared with those with NFPA (P < 0.001). With regard to treatment effects, lean body mass increased significantly (P < 0.05), QoL improved significantly (P < 0.05) and total and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in patients with Sheehan’s syndrome after 1 year of GH replacement therapy. Similar significant changes in QoL and lipid profiles occurred in patients with NFPA after 2 years of GH replacement. Blood pressure remained unchanged in patients with Sheehan’s syndrome, but decreased significantly (P < 0.01) in the group with NFPA after 1 year, before returning to pretreatment levels at 2 years.
Conclusions: In conclusion, patients with Sheehan’s syndrome have more severe GHD compared with individuals with NFPA. GH replacement therapy in patients with Sheehan’s syndrome may have beneficial effects on QoL, body composition and lipid profile.
Joern Moock, Christin Albrecht, Nele Friedrich, Henry Völzke, Matthias Nauck, Maria Koltowska-Haggström, Thomas Kohlmann and Henri Wallaschofski
To analyse 12-month response to GH treatment in a single-country cohort of hypopituitary adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD) in regards to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) compared with values from general population sample. Moreover, association between the response in HRQoL and the IGF-1 values in patients and in the background population was investigated.
HRQoL was assessed by quality of life assessment of GH deficiency in adults (QoL-AGHDA) in 651 patients retrieved from the German KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) before and after 12 months of GH replacement and in a sample drawn from a cross-sectional study in Germany (n=2734). IGF-1 was measured in KIMS patients and in the population-based study with the same assay technique.
In KIMS patients, mean QoL-AGHDA scores before GH replacement were 9.2±6.8 (8.7±6.8) in women (men) and in the general population sample 4.5±5.3 (4.3±5.0) in women (men). Mean differences in QoL-AGHDA scores were statistically significant for all age categories (P<0.05). The mean IGF-1 SDS of KIMS patients before GH replacement was −1.1±1.4 (−0.8±1.4) in women (men). After GH replacement, a significant increase of IGF-1 concentration and a significant decrease of QoL-AGHDA scores near to age- and gender-specific population-based values were observed.
This study confirms an improvement in HRQoL and an increase of IGF-1 SDS in GH-replaced adults, which approximated the values of general population. However, there was no association between IGF-1 values and HRQoL assessment as one of the important treatment outcomes.