BACKGROUND: Transition is a term used to describe the period of adolescence after which the final adult height during growth hormone (GH) treatment is achieved. According to re-evaluation results in insulin tolerance test (ITT) patients with severe and partial growth hormone deficiency (GHD) may be distinguished.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess QoL in patients with different degrees of GHD in transition phase.
METHODS: QoL was evaluated in 76 subjects aged 16-25 years with severe (SGHD, n=26), partial GHD (PGHD, n=22) and normal GH secretion (NGH, n=28) using SF-36 v.2™ Health Survey and the Quality of Life Assessment of Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults (QoL-AGHDA) questionnaires.
RESULTS: Physical Component Score (PCS), Physical Functioning (PF) and General Health (GH) results were significantly lower in patients with SGHD than in NGH group. SF-36 v.2™ Health Survey scores in PGHD were similar as in NGH patients. There were no statistically significant differences in QoL-AGHDA scores between the examined groups. We found positive correlations between peak GH in ITT and PF (r=0.29; p=0.02) or Role Emotional (r=0.37; p=0.002) scores.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that the QoL in adolescents and young adults with severe GHD in transition period is disturbed mainly in terms of physical health and emotions. These changes were detected only by generic SF-36, but not by disease-specific QoL-AGHDA questionnaire. Therefore AGHDA-QoL assessment may not be applicable in GHD patients in transition period. QoL in the patients with partial GHD is unchanged in comparison to growth hormone sufficient subjects.