Endocrine Medicine

Hypoparathyreiodism in Norway

Epidemiology and quality of life in hypoparathyreoidism in Norway

Main content

The parathyoroid glands control the levels of calcium in the body via secretion of the parathyroid hormone PTH. Hypoparathyroidism is rare hormone disease caused by either underproduction of PTH, or a lack of response to PTH (pseudyhypoparathyroidism). A major feature of the disease is low calcium (hypocalcemia), and the symptoms can range from skin tingling to muscle twitching and severe cramps. Patients are treated by calcium and activated vitamin D supplementation.

Researches from Endocrine Medicine and ROAS has published a national study encompassing all Norwegian patients in the leading american endocrinology journal JCEM. The study located over 500 persons with the disease, which gives a national prevalence of ~100 per million inhabitants. For 2/3 the condition was caused by neck surgery, while 1/3 had autoimmune and genetic causes. A small share (8%) had pseudohypoprathyroidism, a genetic condition where the body produces enough PTH, but is not able to respond to it. Among those with non-surgical hypoparathyroidism, a cause of the disease was only found in 2/3 even after thorough investigations.

Using questionnaires for quality of life and depression/anxiety the study found that diseased patients had a reduced quality of life, even worse than Addison patients. "We have identified a need to improve treatment of hypoparathyroidsm, and we will keep working towards that" - Marianne Astor.

Following a survey among Norwegian and Swedish hypoparathyroid patients, an emergency card with medical information was produced and distributed to Norwegian, Swedish and German patients. The card provides quick and easy information to physicians on acute treatment of hypo‐ and hypercalcemia.

Bilde av hypoparakortet

The emergy card provides vital treatment information for emergency situations

Marianne Astor, Helse Bergen