PURPOSE: To assess quality of life and depressive status in Korean patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 49 patients (mean age, 41 years; sex ratio, M:F=11:38) with Graves' ophthalmopathy (referred to as the Graves' group) and 48 age-matched and sex-matched controls (mean age, 40.2 years; sex ratio, M:F=11:37) was performed using the Korean version of the 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Survey data was compared among patients with mild, moderately severe, and sight-threatening Graves' ophthalmopathy and between patients with low (0 or 1) or high (2 or 3) Gorman scores. RESULTS: Those in the Graves' group scored significantly lower on all categories of the SF-36, as compared to the control group (p<0.05). The 4 patients with sight-threatening Graves' had significantly lower scores for physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, and the physical component summary of the SF-36, when compared with the 28 patients with mild Graves' and the 17 patients with moderately severe Graves' (p<0.05). The 17 patients in the high Gorman score group had lower physical component summary scores than the 32 patients in the low Gorman score group (p=0.03). The 16 patients with BDI scores > or = 16 had significantly lower scores on the SF-36 and higher clinical activity scores, as compared to the 33 patients with BDI scores <16 (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy had reduced health-related quality of life and were more likely to be depressed, especially those with a sight threatening condition or significant diplopia. It is important to identify these patients to provide the necessary psychological support.
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