Women with Myasthenia Gravis Report Lower Quality of Life than Male MG Patients, Study Finds

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Women with myasthenia gravis (MG) have a poorer quality of life than male patients. That’s the conclusion of a study named “Best Abstract Award” winner at the 2017 American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

Specifically, the study, which used Patient Registry data from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA), showed that daily function was more impaired, co-morbid autoimmune disease more common, and fatigue and depression worse in female MG patients.

However, when looking at improvements after thymectomy — an operation to remove the thymus gland — women had better scores than men, suggesting the procedure could particularly help women improve their quality of life.

“Sex differences were clearly present in the MG population and the effect of thymectomy appeared to be different as well,” Dr. Ikjae Lee, the study’s principal researcher, said in a press release. “This award has given me strong confidence that I am on the right path,” Lee said. “This award also has provided an excellent opportunity to introduce the MGFA Patient Registry to fellow myasthenia gravis researchers.”

Lee’s study, “Gender and Quality of Life in Myasthenia Gravis Patients from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Registry,” was published along with other abstracts presented at the AANEM event in the September 2017 issue of Muscle & Nerve.

“Dr. Lee’s research has revealed meaningful insights into the treatment and management of patients with MG,” said Francis O. Walker, co-chair of the AANEM 2017 Program Committee. “This is why we selected this abstract for the 2017 AANEM Best Abstract Award. This research will help fellow MG doctors in determining the right treatment options for MG patients.”

The MGFA Patient Registry is a database of people with MG built for research, treatment and patient information. Its vision is to reach a “world without MG” by gathering confidential information useful to researchers; providing a system to determine the potential for trial recruitment; communicating with patients about ongoing investigations, and educating the MG community on the use of different media.