Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greater awareness needed on risks that Addison’s disease poses to patients

Date:
May 2, 2011
Source:
European Society of Endocrinology
Summary:
Two new studies show the possible dangers facing patients with Addison’s disease are higher than previously thought. The new research shows that Addison’s patients, who have low levels of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands, are more likely to get infections which may provoke life-threatening adrenal crises.

Two new studies presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Rotterdam show the possible dangers facing patients with Addison's disease are higher than previously thought. The new research shows that Addison's patients, who have low levels of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands, are more likely to get infections which may provoke life-threatening adrenal crises.

Addison's disease is caused by low levels of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands. Without treatment, the condition can be fatal. Patients with Addison's disease can suffer a range of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, weight loss, muscle weakness, mood changes and the darkening of regions of the skin if they don't receive treatment. The most famous Addison's disease sufferer was John F Kennedy, but it is a comparatively rare condition, affecting about 1 person in 15,000.

Dr Stefanie Hahner, working at University of Würzburg, Germany, looked at the incidence of adrenal crisis in 472 German patients with Addison's disease. An adrenal crisis is a potentially life-threatening condition which occurs when cortisol levels fall dangerously low, requiring an immediate injection of hydrocortisone. Dr Hahner found that 62 of the patients had an adrenal crisis over the two-year period of the prospective study, with almost two-thirds of those needing to be hospitalised and 9.5% being treated in intensive care. Two patients died from adrenal crises during the study. The study also found that many patients were unprepared to deal with the threat to life presented by crises and further patient education programmes may be warranted.

Researcher Dr Stefanie Hahner said: "The number of adrenal crises was higher than we expected from previous studies. Infectious disease provoked 39% of the crises, with psychological stress also causing problems. Ninety-five percent of the patients were aware of the dangers of an adrenal crisis, but only 28% had the emergency injection set. This shows that these crises are largely caused by infectious diseases and stress, but also that patients need to be better prepared to respond to the crises when they arise and that infectious disease has to be treated early and aggressively in this patient group."

In another study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, Dr Lisanne Smans showed that patients with Addison's disease were more at risk of suffering infections than the rest of the population.

She identified 390 Addison's patients from pharmacy records and compared the risk of infections and hospital admissions. Dr Smans found that the risk of infectious disease was 1.5 times that of a control population, (overall incidence rate of 59.2/100 person-years). In addition, Addison's patients were significantly more likely to be hospitalised for infectious disease than control groups (3.8/100 person years for Addison's patients, versus 0.8/100 person years for control groups).

Researcher Dr Lisanne Smans commented: "We need to raise awareness amongst doctors and patients of the risk of infections in Addison's patients compared to the general population. We now want to move on to see whether influenza vaccinations can help this patient group."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Endocrinology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society of Endocrinology. "Greater awareness needed on risks that Addison’s disease poses to patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110502092326.htm>.
European Society of Endocrinology. (2011, May 2). Greater awareness needed on risks that Addison’s disease poses to patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110502092326.htm
European Society of Endocrinology. "Greater awareness needed on risks that Addison’s disease poses to patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110502092326.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins