Thrombocytopenia Can Greatly Impact Quality of Life and Emotional State

DECEMBER 03, 2015
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
Do patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia (pITP) have worse health-related quality of life? Francesco Rodeghiero, from S. Bortolo Hospital in Italy, and colleagues set out to investigate this overlooked part of the disease.

Thrombocytopenia refers to the condition where the body doesn’t have enough platelets which helps blood clot to stop bleeding. PITP is defined as isolated thrombocytopenia with a peripheral blood platelet count less than 100 x 10⁹/L. Rodeghiero will discuss the quality of life findings in a poster session at the 57th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting (ASH 2015) in Orlando, Florida.

A total of 420 patients – 64% women and an average age of 54 (range: 18 to 89) – were included in the study. Half of the participants had at least one comorbidity. The researchers deciphered between patients with newly diagnosed, persistent, and chronic pITP (who all had comparable demographics) and 82%, 64%, and 44%, respectively, were receiving treatment. They completed questionnaires and the data was compared to 1,997 healthy controls taken from another study. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) covered eight health areas including physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems, and mental health.

“When compared with their peers in the general population, worse statistically significant outcomes were found for five out of the eight SF-36 scales,” the authors detailed. The biggest difference was observed in role limitations due to emotional problems.

The findings indicated that patients with persistent pITP experienced the most limitations, both physical and mental, that impacted health-related quality of life. This information can help clinicians better understand and treat their patients.

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