Patients' perception on clinical outcome and quality of life after a diagnosis of Cushing syndrome

Vardan Papoian, Beverly M.K. Biller, Susan M. Webb, Karen K. Campbell, Richard A. Hodin, Roy Phitayakorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2016 AACE. Objective: Excess cortisol production (Cushing syndrome, CS) is a chronic disease affecting many organ systems and impacting quality of life (QoL). This study analyzed factors associated with self-reported QoL, including aspects related to the diagnosis and treatment modalities of CS. Methods: In collaboration with the Cushing's Support and Research Foundation (CSRF), surveys using a validated QoL instrument were sent to CSRF members. Data were analyzed for associations between QoL and demographic, treatment, and disease factors. Results: A total of 269 patients completed the survey. Respondents were 89.9% female, and the mean age was 48 years (SD 12, range 16-76). Respondents visited a median of 4 physicians (range 1-40) prior to the diagnosis of CS, with a median of 5 years (mean 7, SD 5, range 1-30) to obtain a diagnosis, showing a statistically significant negative correlation (P<.001). In one-quarter of cases, someone other than a physician suggested the diagnosis. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that remission status, time to diagnosis, radiation therapy, and hypopituitarism were significant predictors of QoL. There was no association between QoL and patient's sex, age, replacement steroid use, having follow-up with an endocrinologist, or surgical approach. Conclusion: This is one of the largest QoL studies of CS patients and provides information for treatment and education goals. It is notable that early diagnosis and treatment was the major predictor of better QoL after achieving remission from disease, highlighting the need for awareness about the disorder. Patients in remission had better QoL, emphasizing the importance of disease control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-67
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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