The objective of the study was to assess the quality of life (QOL) of patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA), following high dose of corticosteroids (CS). Thirty patients with GCA who had stopped CS or who were under long-term low dose of CS were included and matched to 60 controls. QOL was measured by the SF-36 score and a specific questionnaire. GCA patients had no impairment of QOL compared to controls according to SF-36. Most of them (57%) estimated that their general condition was improved following treatment. Patients with GCA complications or CS therapy side effects had no significant impairment of their QOL compared with patients without complications or adverse effects. Only the patients who had gained weight had a lower score on the domain “Vitality” (VT; p = 0.013). Walking difficulties were the most frequent complaints. They were associated with impaired scores on the physical summary score (p = 0.0340) and on the “General Health” (GH; p = 0.005) and “Physical Functioning” (PF, p = 0.0298) domains. Falls among GCA patients were associated with altered scores on the domain VT (p = 0.0058) and on the mental summary score if they had fallen at least three times (p = 0.0460). GCA patients following high dose of CS or under long-term low doses of CS have no significant impairment of their QOL compared to controls. GCA complications, including visual impairment, do not seem to have any major impact on QOL.
Clinical Rheumatology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2017
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