BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life in patients with Addison's disease has been assessed in various European countries, indicating a reduced quality of life. However, no studies have addressed the impact of Addison's disease on physical activity.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life in Dutch patients with Addison's disease particularly regarding the presence of fatigue and the ability to be physically active.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a postal survey was performed among Dutch patients with Addison's disease on stable glucocorticoid replacement therapy with hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate. For quality of life and physical activity assessment, patients completed general and health-related quality of life and physical activity questionnaires, and scores were compared to Dutch controls.
RESULTS: A total of 328 patients with Addison's disease were studied. In patients with Addison's disease, only 45·7% met the standard of physical activity (Combinorm) compared to 67·8% of Dutch controls (P < 0·01). Forty-eight per cent of patients showed abnormal fatigue, while 61% had severe fatigue. The CIS fatigue scores were significantly higher compared to controls (P < 0·01). We found reduced general subjective health-related QoL scores in both male and female patients, especially in younger patients <65 years of age.
CONCLUSION: Physical activity is decreased in patients with Addison's disease, combined with a reduced subjective health-related QoL and increased fatigue.