Background: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) is an endocrine disorder characterized by enzymatic deficiency in adrenal steroidogenesis, leading to adrenal insufficiency and hyperandrogenism. Patients need continuous hormone replacement therapy, but adequate control has proven challenging, exposing patients to undesirable consequences of both disease and treatment.
Objective: To evaluate the health related quality of life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents with CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency.
Methods: In an analytical study, generic questionnaires, validated and translated versions, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (for self-assessment of patients) and Child Health Questionnaire - PF50 (for parents) were applied and mean scores were analyzed with Student's t-test.
Results: We included 25 patients (19 female) with classical CAH (14 salt wasting/11 simple virilizing), mean age ± standard deviation (SD) of 11.4 ± 3.6 years (5-17.9), and their parents. Self-assessment of HRQOL showed decrease in mean scores: overall (67.8 ± 15.5 vs. 88.9 ± 7.4, p value = 0.015) and in the physical (75.2 ± 15.0 vs. 95.9 ± 5.8, p value = 0.014) and psychosocial (63.9 ± 17.8 vs. 85.0 ± 9.6, p value = 0.023) dimensions of patients, compared to healthy controls (previously published national data on children and adolescents). The assessment of the parent's view was concordant, also showing losses in the physical (43.7 ± 8.0 vs. 55.1 ± 3.6, p value = 0.013) and psychosocial (41.9 ± 9.7 vs. 53.0 ± 7.0, p value = 0.025) dimensions. The comparison of HRQOL between subgroups 1) males versus females and 2) salt-wasting versus simple virilizing showed no significant differences.
Conclusion: There seems to be a loss of HRQOL in children and adolescents with classical CAH. The self-assessment was concordant in key areas with the assessment made by their parents. No differences were observed between genders or clinical presentation of the disease.