Research Summary: Association of Gender with Clinical Expression, Quality of Life, Disability, and Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis



To assess the association of gender with clinical expression, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), disability, and self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).


SSc patients fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology and/or the Leroy and Medsger criteria were assessed for clinical symptoms, disability, HRQoL, self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety by specific measurement scales.


Overall, 381 SSc patients (62 males) were included. Mean age and disease duration at the time of evaluation were 55.9 (13.3) and 9.5 (7.8) years, respectively. One-hundred-and-forty-nine (40.4%) patients had diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc). On bivariate analysis, differences were observed between males and females for clinical symptoms and self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety, however without reaching statistical significance. Indeed, a trend was found for higher body mass index (BMI) (25.0 [4.1] vs 23.0 [4.5], p = 0.013), more frequent dcSSc, echocardiography systolic pulmonary artery pressure >35 mmHg and interstitial lung disease in males than females (54.8% vs 37.2%, p = 0.010; 24.2% vs 10.5%, p = 0.003; and 54.8% vs 41.2%, p = 0.048, respectively), whereas calcinosis and self-reported anxiety symptoms tended to be more frequent in females than males (36.0% vs 21.4%, p = 0.036, and 62.3% vs 43.5%, p = 0.006, respectively). On multivariate analysis, BMI, echocardiography PAP>35 mmHg, and anxiety were the variables most closely associated with gender.


In SSc patients, male gender tends to be associated with diffuse disease and female gender with calcinosis and self-reported symptoms of anxiety. Disease-associated disability and HRQoL were similar in both groups.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 9-March-2011

Author(s): Nguyen C., Bérezné A., Baubet T., Mestre-Stanislas C., Rannou F., Papelard A., Morell-Dubois S., Revel M., Guillevin L., Poiraudeau S., Mouthon L., Thiem U.


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