Background: Pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus are rare, potentially life-threatening, autoimmune disorders characterized by antibodies to epidermal adhesion molecules. Clinical characteristics are painful chronic erosions of mucous membranes and of the skin. There are only few published studies on the impact of the disease on the health status (HS) of patients with these conditions. Objectives: To assess the impact of disease on the HS of patients with pemphigus. Methods: Fifty-eight patients enrolled at the Bullous Skin Diseases Unit of IDI-IRCCS in the period January-June 2006 were assessed for their HS using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) questionnaire and for anxiety and depression using the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing questionnaires. Results: A compromised HS on both the physical and the psychosocial scales was observed, similar to other chronic dermatological diseases such as psoriasis. Patients with anxiety had severe disease as measured by the Physician's Global Assessment and the degree of mucocutaneous involvement, as well as those with a more recent disease onset. A better HS was observed in patients whose clinical condition was rated as nonsevere, and also in patients with pemphigus foliaceus. In pemphigus vulgaris, antidesmoglein 3 antibody levels directly correlated with clinical severity and with lower SF-36 scores. Conclusions: HS evaluated with the SF-36 can be a very useful additional outcome criterion in clinical studies with pemphigus. The management of the disease must take into account its impact on various aspects of life of the patient.
- Health status
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