Disease Control and Gender Predict the Socioeconomic Effects of Acromegaly: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Jakob Dal, Eigil H Nielsen, Ulla-Feldt Rasmussen, Marianne Andersen, Claus L Feltoft, Peter Vestergaard, Kirstine Stochholm, Jens Otto L Jørgensen


CONTEXT: Acromegaly is an insidious disease associated with severe somatic morbidity but data on socioeconomic status are scarce.

OBJECTIVE: To study the socioeconomic status in acromegaly in a population-based follow-up study.

METHODS: All incident cases of acromegaly (n = 576) during the period 1977-2010 were included. For every patient, 100 persons were sampled from the general population matched for date of birth and gender (comparison cohort). Cox regression and hazard ratios (HR), conditional logistic regression and linear regression with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Retirement, social security benefit, annual income, cohabitation, separation, parenthood and educational level.

RESULTS: The proportion of retired individuals was significantly higher in patients with acromegaly after the time of diagnosis (HR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.26-1.62) and also during the 5-year pre-diagnostic period (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.28). More individuals with acromegaly received social security benefit compared with the comparison cohort during the initial period after the time of diagnosis. Among patients who maintained a job, the annual income was similar to the comparison cohort. Compared with the background population, cohabitation was lower (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.50-0.95) as was parenthood (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.39-0.80), whereas neither educational level (HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.35-1.06) nor separation (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.86-1.47) were different. Female gender and insufficient disease control were associated with a significantly worse socioeconomic status.

CONCLUSIONS: 1) Socioeconomic status is impaired in patients with acromegaly even before a diagnosis of acromegaly. 2) Females and patients without disease remission have worse outcomes. 3) Early diagnosis and effective treatment of acromegaly could be important factors in mitigating the negative impact on socioeconomic factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2975-2982
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Acromegaly
  • socioeconomic factor
  • gender
  • IGF-I
  • hypopituitarism


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