Excess mortality in women with pituitary disease: a meta-analysis

E H Nielsen, J Lindholm, P Laurberg
Clinical Endocrinology 2007, 67 (5): 693-7

BACKGROUND: Increased mortality has been reported in patients with pituitary disease, with some studies showing higher standard mortality rates (SMR) in women than in men.

OBJECTIVE: To assess overall SMR for men and women with benign pituitary disease without excessive ATCH or GH secretion and to investigate associations between SMR and time period of diagnosis.

DESIGN: From searches in PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases, and reference lists of major reviews and original articles, we included original studies providing SMR values and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for men and women separately. Thirty articles were studied in detail. Six studies were eligible for the meta-analysis of sex-specific mortality, and seven for the analysis of association between SMR and diagnosis period.

RESULTS: Individual studies (total 5412 patients) reported total SMR values (men and women together) ranging from 1.21 to 3.80. SMR varied from 0.98 to 3.36 in men and from 2.11 to 4.54 in women. Weighted SMR values were significantly higher in women (2.80; CI 2.59-3.02) than in men (2.06; CI 1.94-2 20) (P < 0.0001). SMR was negatively correlated with first year of diagnosis in individual studies (partial correlation analysis controlling for sex, P = 0.017), and approached normal in recent studies in men but not in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In our meta-analysis of patients with pituitary disease without ACTH or GH excess, SMR was significantly higher in women than in men. SMR reached normal levels in men treated in recent decades, but remained elevated in women.

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