OBJECTIVE: Standard treatment in hypoparathyroidism consists of calcium and vitamin D (or vitamin D analogs) but does not employ replacement of the actual missing hormone. Only few studies have evaluated the efficacy of calcium/vitamin D treatment in hypoparathyroidism; the impact of chronic hypoparathyroid disease on well-being has not been investigated previously. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, controlled study in 25 unselected women with postsurgical hypoparathyroidism since 6.4plus minus8.0 years (s.d.) on stable treatment with calcium and vitamin D (or analogs) and in 25 controls with a history of thyroid surgery but intact parathyroid function, who were matched for sex, age and time since surgery. METHODS: Assessment of well-being and mood using validated questionnaires (the revised version Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90-R); the Giessen Complaint List (GBB-24); and the von Zerssen Symptom List (B-L Zerssen)), serum and urinary calcium/phosphorus homeostasis, and in the hypoparathyroid patients also screening for secondary disease by kidney ultrasound, ophthalmological split lamp examination, and measurement of bone mineral density. RESULTS: Serum calcium was in the accepted therapeutic range in the majority of hypoparathyroid patients. However, calcium/phosphorus homeostasis as a whole was clearly non-physiological. Nephrolithiasis was detected in 2 and cataracts in 11 of 25 hypoparathyroid patients. As compared with controls, hypoparathyroid patients had significantly higher global complaint scores in GBB-24 (P=0.036), B-L Zerssen (P=0.002) and SCL-90-R (P=0.020) with predominant increases in the subscale scores for anxiety, phobic anxiety and their physical equivalents. CONCLUSIONS: Current standard treatment in hypoparathyroidism is not only associated with an altered calcium/phosphorus homeostasis but also fails to restore well-being in these patients. Future studies need to address the impact of more physiological treatment options like parathyroid hormone(1-34) or parathyroid transplantation on well-being and mood in these patients.
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