Acromegalic patients lost to follow-up: a pilot study
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Approximately 50 % of all acromegalic patients will require lifelong medical treatment to normalize mortality rates and reduce morbidity. Thus, adherence to therapy is essential to achieve treatment goals. To date, no study has evaluated the frequency and reasons for loss to follow-up in the acromegalic population. The current study aimed at evaluating the frequency of acromegalic patient loss to follow-up in three reference centers and the reasons responsible for their low compliance with treatment. All of the files for the acromegalic patients in the three centers were reviewed. Those patients, who had not followed up with the hospital for more than a year, were contacted via phone and/or mail and invited to participate. Patients who agreed to participate were interviewed, and blood samples were collected. A total of 239 files were reviewed; from these 42 patients (17.6 %) were identified who were lost to follow-up. It was possible to contact 27 of these patients, 10 of whom did not attend the appointments for more than one time and 17 of whom agreed to participate in the study. Fifteen of these 17 patients had active disease (88.2 %), and all of the patients restarted treatment in the original centers. The main reason for loss to follow-up was an absence of symptoms. High-quality follow-up is important in acromegaly to successfully achieve the aims of the treatment. An active search for patients may allow the resumption of treatment in a significant proportion of these cases, contributing to reduced morbidity and mortality in this patient population.
KeywordsAcromegaly Compliance Follow-up Chronic disease
This work is supported by a grant from Novartis Biociências S.A.
Conflict of interest
MRG received grant support from Novartis Biociências S.A and Pfizer and speaker fees from Novartis Biociências, Pfizer and Ipsen. RNC is an employee of Novartis Biociências S.A in Brazil.
The authors declare that this study complies with the current laws of Brazil.
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