Public Health Relevance of Graves' Orbitopathy

and Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology (S.M.), Working Group for Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.21). 11/2012; 98(1). DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-3119
Source: PubMed


Context:Disfiguring proptosis and functional impairment in patients with Graves' orbitopathy (GO) may lead to impaired earning capacity and to considerable indirect/direct costs.Objective:The aim of the study was to investigate the public health relevance of GO.Design and Setting:This cross-sectional study was performed between 2005 and 2009 at a multidisciplinary university orbital center.Patients:A total of 310 unselected patients with GO of various degrees of severity and activity participated in the study.Interventions:We conducted an observational study.Main Outcome Measures:We measured work disability and sick leave as well as the resulting indirect/direct costs of GO-specific therapies.Results:Of 215 employed patients, 47 (21.9%) were temporarily work disabled, and 12 (5.6%) were permanently work disabled. Five (2.3%) had lost their jobs, and nine (4.2%) had retired early. The mean duration of sick leave was 22.3 d/yr. Compared with the German average of 11.6 d/yr, 32 (15%) patients had taken longer sick leaves. The duration of sick leave correlated with the disease severity (P = 0.015), and work disability correlated with diplopia (P < 0.001). Multivariable analysis identified diplopia as the principal predictor for work disability (odds ratio, 1.7; P < 0.001). The average costs due to sick leave and work disability ranged between 3,301€ (4,153$) and 6,683€ (8,407$) per patient per year. Direct costs were 388 ± 56€ (488 ± 70$) per patient per year and per year were higher in sight-threatening GO (1,185 ± 2,569€; 1,491 ± 3,232$) than in moderate-to-severe (373 ± 896€; 469 ± 1,127$; P = 0.013) or in mild GO (332 ± 857€; 418 ± 1,078$; P = 0.016). Total indirect costs ranged between 3,318€ (4,174$) (friction cost method) and 6,738€ (8,476$) (human capital approach). Work impairment as well as direct and indirect costs of GO significantly correlated with the scores of the internationally standardized and specific GO quality-of-life questionnaire.Conclusions:Productivity loss and a prolonged therapy for GO incur great indirect and direct costs.

5 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The prevalence and natural history of Graves' orbitopathy (GO) are poorly documented. Methods: A large series of 346 patients with newly diagnosed and recent onset Graves' hyperthyroidism seen at a single (nontertiary referral) center over an 8-year period were enrolled in an observational prospective study and evaluated for GO activity and severity according to the EUGOGO (European Group on Graves' Orbitopathy) criteria. After excluding patients immediately treated for moderate-to-severe GO, patients undergoing total thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine treatment, and patients lost to follow-up, 237 patients were submitted to antithyroid drug (ATD) treatment, with ocular evaluation at 6, 12, and 18 months. Results: Among the whole cohort, at presentation 255 (73.7%) had no ocular involvement, 70 (20.2%) had mild and inactive GO, 20 (5.8%) had moderate-to-severe and active GO, and 1 (0.3%) had sight-threatening GO with dysthyroid optic neuropathy. Of the 237 patients who completed the 18-month follow-up during or after ATD treatment, 194 (81.9%) had no GO at baseline. Progression to moderate-to-severe GO occurred in 5 (2.6%) of these patients. Of the 43 (18.1%) patients with mild and inactive GO at baseline, 1 (2.4%) progressed to moderate-to-severe GO, and 25 (58.1%) experienced complete remission. Conclusions: Most patients with newly diagnosed Graves' disease have no ocular involvement. Moderate-to-severe and active GO or sight-threatening GO are rare at presentation and rarely develop during ATD treatment. Most patients (>80%) with no GO at baseline do not develop GO after an 18-month follow-up period. Remission of mild GO occurs in the majority of cases.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 02/2013; 98(4). DOI:10.1210/jc.2012-3873 · 6.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Graves' orbitopathy (GO) is an autoimmune disorder and the main extrathyroidal expression of Graves' disease. There is a spectrum of ocular involvement in Graves' disease, from complete absence of symptoms and signs to sight-threatening conditions. The prevalence of GO varies in different published series of Graves' patients, due to confounding factors (new diagnosis vs. long-lasting disease, way of defining and assessing ocular involvement, treatment of hyperthyroidism with potentially GO-modifying treatments, such as radioiodine). Recent studies, however, suggest that most Graves' patients have mild or no GO at presentation, while moderate-to-severe GO is rare, and sight-threatening GO (mostly due to dysthyroid optic neuropathy) is exceptional in non-tertiary referral centers. The natural course of GO is incompletely defined, particularly in patients with moderate-to12 severe GO, because these patients require prompt and disease-modifying therapies for orbital disease. In patients with mild GO at presentation, progression to severe forms is rare, while partial or complete remission is frequent. Progression of preexisting GO or de novo occurrence of GO is more likely in smokers. There seems to be a trend towards a decline in progression of GO, possibly due to a better control of risk factors (cigarette smoking, thyroid dysfunction, etc.) and a closer interaction between endocrinologists and ophthalmologists allowing an improved integrated management of thyroid and orbital disease.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 04/2013; 36(6). DOI:10.3275/8937 · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) occurs commonly in children with Graves' disease (GD). However, there are limited studies on the clinical manifestations and thyroid autoantibodies in pediatric GO. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of GO in childhood GD. Clinical and biochemical data from children and adolescents with GD were retrospectively reviewed. Eighty patients under 19 years of age were included in the present study. We compared the clinical and biochemical differences between patients with and without GO. Thirty-nine percent of the patients had GO, and 81% of the GO patients were females. Of these, two patients showed unilateral GO. Triiodothyronine (T3) levels were higher in GO patients than in those without GO. Anti-thyroglobulin antibody and thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody titers were not significantly different between the two groups. Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO Ab) positivity was 68% in the patients with GO and only 47% in the patients without GO. In multivariate regression analysis, high T3 levels and TPO Ab positivity were related to the presence of GO. In children and adolescents with GD, TPO Ab positivity and high T3 levels could act as predictive factors for the presence of GO.
    World Journal of Pediatrics 03/2014; 10(2). DOI:10.1007/s12519-014-0476-y · 1.05 Impact Factor
Show more