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T L C Wolters, S H P P Roerink, R B T M Sterenborg, M A E M Wagenmakers, O Husson, J W A Smit, A R M M Hermus and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly has a negative influence on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies provide limited information on the course of HRQoL during treatment. This study aims to assess the effect of treatment on the course of HRQoL at six predefined time points.

Design

This prospective study examines HRQoL in treatment-naive patients before and during the first 2.5 years of acromegaly treatment.

Methods

Therapy-naive acromegaly patients completed three validated questionnaires (RAND-36, AcroQoL, and the Appearance Self-Esteem (ASE)) at six predetermined time points before, during, and after treatment. Outcomes were correlated to IGF1 levels and disease control status.

Results

Twenty-seven acromegaly patients completed the questionnaires at all time points. After treatment, all patients had controlled acromegaly. Scores of RAND-36 domains General health, Vitality and Health change, and all AcroQoL dimensions (except for Relations) improved during treatment (P ≤ 0.003); the largest changes were detected during the first year. Gender influenced HRQoL scores, since AcroQoL scores significantly improved in males but not in females. Over time, IGF1 levels were negatively correlated with HRQoL. After 2.5 years of follow-up, HRQoL of controlled patients was still lower than in the general population.

Conclusion

HRQoL of acromegaly patients was considerably reduced at diagnosis. Disease control was associated with an improvement of HRQoL scores. Males showed a more pronounced improvement than females. The largest changes were detected in the first year of treatment. However, HRQoL during and after treatment remained impaired in acromegaly patients, emphasizing the need of additional support.