Health-related quality of life and suicide risk in postural tachycardia syndrome

Abstract

Purpose

Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a disorder featured by orthostatic intolerance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the severity of quality of life issues in POTS patients.

Methods

Online surveys for health related quality of life, sleep quality, fatigue, pain, and suicidal ideation were completed by 624 POTS patients and 139 controls.

Results

People with POTS have significantly more days of poor physical health (p < 0.001), fewer days with good energy (p < 0.001), and significantly more days with activity limitations (p < 0.001) than controls. Pain severity was significantly higher for those with POTS (p < 0.001) while feelings of control over life was lower than controls (p < 0.001). Sleep quality and daytime fatigue were also significantly worse for those with POTS than controls (p < 0.001). Finally, those with POTS have a significantly higher risk of suicide compared with controls (p < 0.001).

Interpretation

The myriad of symptoms from which many POTS patients suffer is associated with a decreased quality of life. Nearly half of our sample with POTS was at high risk for suicide. More work needs to be done to determine the underlying issues surrounding suicide in POTS so that an appropriate treatment regimen can be developed.

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Correspondence to Cathy L. Pederson.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Pederson, C.L., Brook, J.B. Health-related quality of life and suicide risk in postural tachycardia syndrome. Clin Auton Res 27, 75–81 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10286-017-0399-5

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Keywords

  • Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Quality of life
  • Pain
  • Sleep
  • Suicide