Purpose: To investigate the musculoskeletal complaints, physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type (EDS-HT).
Methods: Thirty-two female EDS-HT patients as defined by the Villefranche criteria and 32 gender- and age-matched healthy control subjects participated in the study. Data about musculoskeletal complaints were collected from a specific form developed for the study. Daily PA and HRQoL were evaluated by the Baecke questionnaire and the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (distributed by RAND), respectively.
Results: A significant presence of joint pain, joint dislocations, muscle cramps, tendinitis, fatigue and headache were revealed in the EDS-HT patient group. Joint pain was reported as the most frequent and most severe symptom. The habitual PA level was diminished in the patient group. Specifically, EDS-HT subjects had significantly lower sport participation, but a comparable leisure time excluding sports compared to the healthy control subjects. All eight HRQoL dimensions of the RAND-36 and both physical and emotional summary scores were significantly impaired in EDS-HT.
Conclusions: EDS-HT is characterised by various severe musculoskeletal complaints and has a detrimental effect on the habitual level of PA and HRQoL, in both physical and psychosocial dimension. An appropriate treatment and management in healthcare is needed.