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A Germany-wide survey study on the patient journey of patients with hereditary angioedema

  • Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disease and characterized by clinical features such as paroxysmal, recurrent angioedema of the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, and the upper airways. Swelling of the skin occurs primarily in the face, extremities and genitals. Gastrointestinal attacks are accompanied by painful abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Due to the low prevalence and the fact that HAE patients often present with rather unspecific symptoms such as abdominal cramps, the final diagnosis is often made after a long delay. The aim of this German-wide survey was to characterize the period between occurrence of first symptoms and final diagnosis regarding self-perceived health, symptom burden and false diagnoses for patients with HAE. Results: Overall, 81 patients with HAE were included and participated in the telephone-based survey. Of those, the majority reported their current health status as “good” (47.5%) or “very good” (13.8%), which was observed to be a clear improvement compared to the year before final diagnosis (“good” (16.3%), “very good” (11.3%)). Edema in the extremities (85.2%) and in the gastrointestinal tract (81.5%) were the most currently reported symptoms and occurred earlier than other reported symptoms (mean age at onset 18.1 and 17.8 years, respectively). Misdiagnoses were observed in 50.6% of participating HAE patients with appendicitis and allergy being the most frequently reported misdiagnoses (40.0 and 30.0% of those with misdiagnosis, respectively). Patients with misdiagnosis often received mistreatment (80.0%) with pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions as the most frequently carried out mistreatments (65.6 and 56.3% of those with mistreatment, respectively). The mean observed diagnostic delay was 18.1 years (median 15.0 years). The diagnostic delay was higher in older patients and index patients. Conclusions: This study showed that self-perceived status of health for patients is much better once the final correct diagnosis has been made and specific treatment was available. Further challenge in the future will still be to increase awareness for HAE especially in settings which are normally approached by patients at occurrence of first symptoms to assure early referral to specialists and therefore increase the likelihood of receiving an early diagnosis.

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Author:Markus Magerl, Holger GotheORCiDGND, Simon Krupka, Anja Lachmann, Christoph Ohlmeier
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01506-5
Parent Title (English):Orphanet Journal of Rare Deseases
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2023/06/14
Tag:Diagnostic delay; Germany; Hereditary angioedema; Rare disease; Survey
GND Keyword:Hereditäres Angioödem; Deutschland; Seltene Krankheit
Article Number:221
Page Number:8
Link to catalogue:1858411084
Institutes:Fakultät III - Medien, Information und Design
DDC classes:610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International