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The humanistic burden of hereditary angioedema: Impact on health-related quality of life, productivity, and depression

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Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare, autosomal dominant disorder characterized by recurrent acute attacks of swelling of the larynx, abdomen, and periphery. This study was designed to assess the humanistic burden of illness associated with HAE. HAE burden was assessed via a web-based survey of patients that solicited information on attack characterization, treatment, side effects, pain, and functional and emotional burden of disease management. In addition to HAE-specific sections, the survey used three standardized instruments to compare HAE patient data to normative (healthy) and chronic disease populations: the 12-Item Short Form (SF-12) Health Survey, the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment‐General Health (WPAI-GH) questionnaire, and the Hamilton Depression Inventory‐Short Form (HDI-SF). A total of 457 HAE patients responded to the survey (response rate, ∼19%). Patients reported significantly poorer health-related quality of life versus population norms, based on the SF-12 Physical Component Summary (mean, 43.7 versus 49.6; p < 0.001) and Mental Component Summary (mean, 42.6 versus 49.4; p < 0.001). HAE patients also had higher mean HDI-SF scores than population norms (8.1 ± 6.5 versus 3.1 ± 3.0; p < 0.001), with 42.5% of HAE patients scoring >8.5, indicative of depressive symptomatology. Productivity was also markedly impaired in all WPAI-GH categories, including 34% overall work impairment. Because of their most recent HAE attack, workers lost a mean of 3.3 days; students lost a mean of 1.9 days. HAE results in considerable humanistic burden to patients across physical and mental health domains; negatively impacts education, career, and work productivity; and compounds the substantial economic burdens that are reported separately.

Keywords: Activity impairment; burden of illness; chronic burden; depression; health-related quality of life; hereditary angioedema; mental health; pain; productivity; side effects; treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: AARA Research Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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