Effect of Gastrointestinal Manifestations on Quality of Life in 87 Consecutive Patients with Systemic Sclerosis
The Journal of Rheumatology, 04/16/2012
Omair MA et al. – Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations, especially fecal incontinence (affecting 22% of patients), have a negative influence on the quality of life of patients with SSc. There was no difference between systemic sclerosis (SSc) disease subtypes.
The University of California, Los Angeles Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium Gastrointestinal Tract 2 questionnaire was completed by 87 consecutive patients with SSc attending the scleroderma clinic at a single center.
Their clinical features and current therapies were recorded; 100 patients with rheumatologic disorders other than SSc were used as controls.
Individual scores were compared between SSc and controls, and between SSc subgroups.
Of 87 patients, 76 (90%) were women. Median age was 55 years and disease duration 105 months. Thirty–three (38%) had diffuse and 54 (62%) had limited SSc.
Patients with SSc had a higher score than controls in all domains (p < 0.05).
Numbers of patients who responded positively to individual questionnaire components are as follows: any GI symptom 86 (99%), reflux 77 (89%), distension 73 (84%), soilage 19 (22%), diarrhea 44 (51%), constipation 51 (59%), well–being 43 (49%), and social 43 (49%).
There was no difference between the scores of patients with diffuse and limited disease subtypes.
The use of calcium channel blockers did not significantly increase the constipation score (p = 0.99).
Patients who responded positively to the reflux, distension, diarrhea, and constipation domains had lower scores in the well–being and social domains.
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