Quality of life, developmental milestones, and self-esteem of young adults with congenital hypothyroidism diagnosed by neonatal screening

L. van der Sluijs Veer, M.J. Kempers, B.F. Last, T. Vulsma, M.A. Grootenhuis

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Context: With advances in the treatment of congenital hypothyroidism (CH), the neuropsychological functioning of CH patients is considerably improved. Although much is written about cognitive and motor development, little is known about emotional and social consequences for patients growing up with CH, diagnosed by neonatal screening. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to: 1) compare health-related quality of life (HRQoL), developmental milestones also called course of life (CoL), sociodemographical outcomes, and self-esteem of CH patients with the general population; and 2) explore whether severity of CH was related to these outcomes. Design/Setting/Patients: A total of 69 young adults with CH, born in The Netherlands in 1981-1982, completed the "TNO-AZL Questionnaire for Adult's Health related Quality of Life" questionnaire, the CoL survey (developmental milestones and sociodemographical outcomes), and a self-esteem questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: HRQoL, CoL, social demographical outcomes, and self-esteem in young adults with CH were determined. Results: CH patients are more often at risk for HRQoL impairment and reported lower HRQoL on several domains (cognitive functioning, P < 0.0001; sleeping, P < 0.004; pain, P < 0.0001; daily activities, P < 0.004; vitality, P < 0.0001; aggressiveness, P < 0.0001; and depressive moods, P < 0.0001) compared with healthy adults. Patients reported a lower self-esteem (P < 0.005) and had a delayed CoL on the domain of social development (P < 0.016). There were no significant within-group differences between the severity groups for HRQoL, CoL, and self-esteem. Conclusions: Negative consequences in terms of HRQoL, development, and self-esteem are prevalent in young adults with CH. Health care physicians should be attentive to these consequences and provide additional support (emotional and educational guidance) if necessary. Copyright © 2008 by The Endocrine Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2654-2661
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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