Background: Living with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia affects a patient's whole life situation, but few studies have addressed health-related quality of life (HRQOL) aspects in these patients. The aim was therefore to describe HRQOL in patients with atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia (AVNRT) or Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, referred for radiofrequency ablation (RF-ablation), compared to age- and gender-matched Swedish reference groups.
Methods: HRQOL was assessed with SF-36 and EuroQol (EQ-5D and EQ-VAS) and the patients were asked disease-specific questions.
Results: The 97 patients with AVNRT [53 ± 16 years of age/65 women] and 79 patients with WPW [42 ± 15 years of age/26 women] exhibited significantly lower HRQOL scores in SF-36 in the same seven of the eight scales: Physical functioning (PF), role-physical (RP), social functioning (SF), role-emotional (RE), general health (GH), vitality (VT), and mental health (MH) while there was no difference in bodily pain (BP) compared to their respective age- and gender matched Swedish reference group. HRQOL scores were lower for patients with AVNRT compared to WPW in the areas of PF (P < 0.001), BP (P < 0.05), and GH (P < 0.01) in SF-36, and the same was found in EQ-VAS (64.8 vs. 71.2, P < 0.05). Occurrence of episodes of tachycardia more often than once a month compared to less frequently than once a month was associated with significantly lower HRQOL in all eight scales in SF-36 (GH, RE, MH: P < 0.01 and PF, RP, BP, VT, SF: P < 0.001) and EQ-5D index (P < 0.001) and EQ-VAS (P < 0.05) Arrhythmia duration longer than one hour compared to patients with shorter duration of the tachycardia-affected GH in SF-36 negatively (P < 0.05). Patients who experienced symptoms not only during activity but also at rest scored lower in SF-36 GH (P < 0.01) and SF (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Measuring HRQOL in patients with WPW or AVNRT is an important way to evaluate and describe these patients' life situation. These conditions were found to have a pronounced negative impact on HRQOL. The frequency of arrhythmia occurrence is one important factor to consider when setting priorities for treatment with RF-ablation.
2009. Vol. 32, no 10, 1299-1306 p.