Health-Related Quality of Life in 91 Patients with X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia

J Clin Immunol. 2022 May;42(4):811-818. doi: 10.1007/s10875-022-01222-8. Epub 2022 Mar 14.


Purpose: X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is a primary immunodeficiency (PID) caused by a defect in the gene encoding for Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). In the absence of a functional BTK, patients have low or absent circulating B cells and low or absent serum immunoglobulin. Despite gammaglobulin replacement and prompt use of antimicrobial agents, patients with XLA continue to experience infectious and non-infectious complications throughout their lifetime. The purpose of this study was to understand self-perceived health status of US-based patients with XLA, and examine the associations amongst clinical characteristics, treatment experience, and quality of life (QoL).

Methods: A 46 and 68 question survey, developed by the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) and a Short Form-12item v2® (SF-12v2®) for adults and SF-10™ for children to assess QoL, were mailed by IDF to patients in 2017 and 2018. Those that self-identified as having XLA or males with agammaglobulinemia were selected for analysis. Mean physical and mental composite scores (PCS and MCS) from SF-12v2® and mean physical health component (PHS) and psychological health summary (PSS) from SF-10™ scores were compared to the US normative data.

Results: Ninety-one patients completed the surveys: 58 (63.7%) adults and 33 (36.3%) children. For the combined surveys, the overall median age at time of the survey was 28.5 years (yrs); Inter-Quartile-Range (IQR) 13-49.5 yrs; the median age at diagnosis was 2 yrs (IQR = 0-4 yrs) and the median number of years with XLA diagnosis was 23 (IQR 10.75-40yrs). Amongst adult patients, physical scores were noted to be below the general adult population but did not reach statistical significance. In contrast, 2 or more chronic conditions impacted both physical and mental QoL (p < .001) and hospitalization was associated with significantly decreased physical health QoL (p < .001); three or more infections in the past 12 months exhibited impact on physical health although was not found to be statistically significant. Adult patients with public insurance fared worse in mental health domains compared to those with combined public and private or those with private alone (p = 0.001). Employment status did not impact QoL. None of these variables met statistical significance nor demonstrated impact within the pediatric population in either physical or mental domains of health.

Conclusion: Our study provides further insight into what factors impact both physical and mental domains of health amongst patients with XLA. Early detection to prevent the development of associated morbidity, as well as vigilant care to prevent hospitalizations and infections, can limit the impact this disease may have on the overall well-being of XLA patients.

Keywords: Quality of Life; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; XLA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agammaglobulinemia* / diagnosis
  • Agammaglobulinemia* / genetics
  • Agammaglobulinemia* / therapy
  • Child
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked* / diagnosis
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked* / genetics
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Quality of Life


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous

Supplementary concepts

  • Bruton type agammaglobulinemia