Background: Measuring the quality of life (QOL) is important in the evaluation of nonclinical aspects of diseases, for the discovery of functional and psychological limitations, and in choosing treatment in the initial phase of the disease. Pemphigus is a potentially fatal autoimmune bullous disease caused by autoantibodies against desmogleins (cadherin family proteins in desmosomes). Thus far, there has been no published study on QOL in Korean patients with pemphigus. Objective: To study the impact of pemphigus on the QOL in a large number of Korean patients. Methods: Sixty-six patients enrolled at the Gangnam Severance Hospital from March 2012 to March 2013 were assessed for QOL by using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and for anxiety and depression by using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Spearman's rank-order correlation, t-test, and ANOVA were used to identify the relations between the DLQI score and other clinical variables. Results: Pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus significantly reduced the QOL of patients. The average DLQI score for all patients was 10.18. The mean DLQI score was 13.45 in patients in the active state and 5.15 in the patients in the remission state. The DLQI score highly correlated with disease severity, titer of anti-desmoglein 1 in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the corticosteroid dose. However, the QOL was not affected by sex, age, subtype of pemphigus, duration of disease, or comorbidities. Forty-two percent of the patients showed a positive result in the GHQ, reflecting probable minor psychiatric nonpsychotic conditions, and the GHQ score positively correlated to the DLQI score. Conclusion: Pemphigus significantly impairs the QOL of patients. The QOL of Korean pemphigus patients significantly correlates with clinical severity. Therefore, considerable attention should be paid to the patients' QOL and psychological states as well as clinical status.
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