Patient-Reported Symptom Severity in a Nationwide Myasthenia Gravis Cohort: Cross-sectional Analysis of the Swedish GEMG Study

Background and Objectives

To describe myasthenia gravis activities of daily living (MG-ADL) in relation to clinical characteristics in a large Swedish nationwide cohort.

Methods

In a cross-sectional prevalence cohort study, the Genes and Environment in Myasthenia Gravis study, performed from November 2018 through August 2019, patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) were invited to submit an extensive 106-item life environment questionnaire, including the MG-ADL score. Patients were classified into early-onset MG (EOMG, <50 years), late-onset MG (LOMG, ≥50 years), or thymoma-associated MG (TAMG). Comparisons of disease-specific characteristics were made between subgroups, sexes, and different MG-ADL scores.

Results

A total of 1,077 patients were included, yielding a 74% response rate: 505 (47%) were classified as EOMG, 520 (48%) LOMG, and 45 (4%) TAMG. Mean age at inclusion was 64.3 years (SD 15.7) and mean disease duration was 14.6 years (SD 14.0). Complete MG-ADL scores (n = 1,035) ranged from 0p to 18p, where 26% reported a score of 0p. Higher MG-ADL scores were associated with female sex, obesity, and diagnostic delay (odds ratio [OR] 1.62, 1.72, and 1.69; padj = 0.017, 0.013, and 0.008) and inversely correlated with high educational attainment (OR 0.59; padj = 0.02), but not with age at inclusion, disease subtype, or disease duration. Almost half of the population (47%) reported MG-ADL ≥3p, corresponding to an unsatisfactory symptom state.

Discussion

In this nationwide study, comprising more than 40% of the prevalent MG population in Sweden, almost half of the patients reported current disease symptoms associated with an unsatisfactory symptom state, indicating the need for improved treatment options.

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