BACKGROUND - Subjective symptoms such as decreased energy, chronic fatigue, and depression are associated with hyperparathyroidism. Studies have shown that these symptoms are improved during short-term follow-up after parathyroidectomy. This study evaluates the durability of this subjective improvement in quality-of-life symptoms in a large population of patients with follow-up greater than 1 year after operation.
METHODS - Between 2002 and 2005, 258 patients underwent parathyroidectomy, 100 (81 females and 19 males) of whom were available for this study. The patients were evaluated with a survey based on the Health Outcomes Institute Health Status Questionnaire. Some answers were quantified on a 1 to 6 scale, while others consisted of "yes" or "no" responses. Patients completed a questionnaire prior to parathyroidectomy and postoperatively at 1 month, 3 to 6 months, and 1 to 2 years or greater intervals. Statistical analysis was used to detect changes attributable to parathyroidectomy. A P value <.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS - At 1-month follow-up, patients' perceptions of their overall health, energy level, and mood significantly improved. At 6-month follow-up, significant improvements in muscle strength, health, endurance, and relief of anxiety were documented. At the interval of 1 to 2 years, overall health, energy level, endurance, and relief of anxiety were improved. There was no significant decrement in the quality of life in these patients after parathyroidectomy.
CONCLUSIONS - Parathyroidectomy for hyperparathyroidism is associated with significant lasting improvement in subjective symptoms. The potential durable improvement in these quality-of-life symptoms is a valid indication for parathyroidectomy.