Phenotype, disease severity and pain are major determinants of quality of life in Fabry disease: results from a large multicenter cohort study

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2018 Jan;41(1):141-149. doi: 10.1007/s10545-017-0095-6. Epub 2017 Oct 16.


Quality of life (QoL) is decreased in patients with Fabry disease (FD). To improve QoL, it is important to understand the influence of FD related characteristics, symptoms, and complications. In this retrospective cohort study we explored the effect of pain (measured by the Brief Pain Inventory), phenotype, treatment, and FD-related complications on QoL. QoL data of Fabry patients as assessed by the EuroQol five dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D) from two international centers of excellence were collected. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of sex, phenotype, age, different states of disease severity, pain, and ERT on EQ-5D utilities. For 286 adult FD patients (mean age 42.5 years, 40% men, 60% classical phenotype) 2240 EQ-5Ds were available. QoL is decreased in men as well as women with FD, especially in older men with a classical phenotype. At age 50, utility was lower in men with classical FD compared to those with non-classical disease (β = -0.12, 95% CI: -0.23 - 0.01, p = 0.037) with further difference in the years thereafter. Cardiovascular complications, stroke or transient ischemic attacks, multiple FD-related complications and pain were also associated with decreased utilities. Overall, no change in utility was seen in patients on ERT over a mean follow-up of 6.1 years. FD leads to a decreased QoL compared to the general population. Disease complications and pain both negatively influence QoL. Adequate assessment and treatment of pain as well as improved strategies to prevent disease complications are needed to improve QoL in the FD population.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Disease Progression
  • Fabry Disease / diagnosis
  • Fabry Disease / genetics
  • Fabry Disease / physiopathology
  • Fabry Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / genetics
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors