Occurrence of symptoms in different stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their impact on social participation
SourceMuscle and Nerve, 64, 6, (2021), pp. 701-709
Article / Letter to editor
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Muscle and Nerve
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
INTRODUCTION/AIMS: As life expectancy improves for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), new symptoms are likely to arise. This aims of this study are: (1) to explore the prevalence of a broad variety of symptoms in the various stages of DMD (with and without steroid use); (2) to explore the prevalence of common secondary diagnoses; and (3) to evaluate the social participation level of patients with DMD older than 16 y of age; and to explore correlations between social participation and symptoms. METHODS: A cross-sectional self-report questionnaire, including questions on functional level and health status, as well as a standardized participation scale was distributed among Dutch patients with DMD. RESULTS: Eighty-four male patients with a mean age of 22.0 (SD = 10.0) y were enrolled. The most prevalent and limiting symptoms were difficulty coughing (58%), coldness of hands (57%), contractures (51%), stiffness (49%), fatigue (40%), myalgia (38%), and low speech volume (33%). Prevalent secondary diagnoses included cardiac disease (14%), neurobehavioral diagnosis (13%), low blood pressure (13%), and arthrosis (5%). Social participation correlated negatively with coldness of hands (r = - .29; P < .03), decreased intelligibility (r = - .40; P < .003), and chewing problems (r = - .33; P < .02). DISCUSSION: The prevalence of a broad spectrum of symptoms and secondary diagnoses is high in patients with DMD, and some of these symptoms are correlated with social participation. Growing awareness of new symptoms and secondary diagnoses among patients, caregivers, and professionals can enhance their recognition, possibly facilitating prevention and early treatment.
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