The Quality of Life of Thalassemic Patients: The Role of Endocrine Defect Compensation

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Lorenza Mattia, Irene Samperi, Salvatore Monti, Vincenzo Toscano, Giuseppe Pugliese, Maurizio Poggi*

Journal Name: Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders

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Background: The improvement of beta thalassaemia treatments has led to an increase in life expectancy. This implies the emergence of new comorbidities. Amongst others, endocrine glands are extremely sensitive to iron overload.

Objective: We aimed to understand the impact of the endocrine conditions on the patient’s quality of life (QOL).

Results: Hypogonadism may present with lack or delay of pubertal development, sexual dysfunctions and impaired fertility, which impact QOL in both sexes. Early recognition and treatment, as well as choosing the most appropriate therapy, according to patient’s needs (fertility, pubertal development, psychological concerns, comorbidities), are advisable. Osteoporosis affects QOL irrespective of symptoms. Growth hormone deficiency may occur both in childhood and in adulthood, and it affects different aspects of QOL. In adults, it could be difficult to examine if the symptoms are due to GHD, and a trial of GH replacement could be useful to identify benefits and needs. Glucose metabolism impairment is common in thalassaemic patients and early recognition is mandatory because long-term complications can have a detrimental impact on QOL (as blindness or dialysis). Although the incidence of adrenal insufficiency seems to be rare in thalassaemic patients, when it occurs, it has a severe impact on QOL.

Conclusion: Limited data is available on QOL in thalassaemic patients, and is even less related to endocrinopathies. We can speculate that endocrinopathies have an impact on everyday life. More studies are needed to allow our patients to achieve not just a longer life but also a better quality of life.

Keywords: Thalassemia major, quality of life, endocrine disease, psychological assessment, well-being.

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Article Details

Published on: 21 April, 2021
(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1871530321666210421123759
Price: $95

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