The impact of chronic idiopathic urticaria on quality of life in korean patients.
BACKGROUND: Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) is a relatively common disease, and yet not much is known about the causative factors or its pathophysiology, which makes it difficult to cure. Due to its chronic nature, many patients have significantly reduced quality of life (QOL).
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of CIU on QOL of Korean patients, and to determine whether a relationship exists between QOL and the severity of disease.
METHODS: One hundred sixty three patients with CIU, who first visited our out-patient clinic between August 2005 and July 2007, were asked to complete two questionnaires: one designed to assess the clinical features of their disease; the other on the influences of CIU on their daily lives. QOL was divided into six categories: mental status (MS), daily living activities (DLA), leisure activities (LA), self-perception (SP), treatment-induced restrictions (TIR), and social functions (SF). All of the QOL scores were recalibrated to a 0~100 scale, with 100 indicating the worst QOL, and 0 the best.
RESULTS: THE AVERAGE QOL SCORES OBTAINED FROM THE QUESTIONNAIRE WERE AS FOLLOWS: SP (13.1+/-4.6), DLA (12.0+/-4.3), MS (10.3+/-3.3), SF (8.5+/-3.4), LA (6.1+/-3.0), and TIR (5.5+/-2.6). SP was the domain that was most affected; TIR the least. There were positive correlations between pairs of the six different QOL categories (p<0.001). These results demonstrate that CIU exerts an influence on many aspects of QOL. TIR was significantly affected in longer term CIU cases (p<0.05), while SP, MS, DLA, SF, and SR scores did not correlate with disease duration. Disease severity was found to have a significant impact on SP, MS, SF, and LA (p<0.05). In patients with concurrent physical urticaria, DLA and SF scores were significantly affected (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Based on these results, it is suggested that CIU has a negative impact on QOL in Korean patients. Therefore, it is important to recognize the effects CIU can have on QOL and consider them in evaluating the response to treatment.