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Patient-reported experience with Fabry disease and its management in the real-world setting: results from a double-blind, cross-sectional survey of 280 respondents.

BACKGROUND: Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder with a heterogeneous clinical presentation. Patients with FD may exhibit early signs/symptoms including neuropathic pain, gastrointestinal complaints, and dermatologic manifestations. FD may ultimately progress to renal, neurologic, and cardiac dysfunction. Current treatments for FD have significantly improved the management and outcomes for patients with FD, but important clinical and convenience limitations still exist.

METHODS: To illuminate the impact of FD on daily life from the patient's perspective, we asked adult patients (≥ 18 years old) with FD in the United States and Canada to complete a 33-question online survey to assess patient-reported disease severity, management, and treatment outcomes.

RESULTS: A total of 280 respondents with FD completed the survey; they had a mean age of 47 years, and 68% (191/280) were women. Most were currently receiving FD treatment (84%, 234/280) with enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) (89%, 208/234) or chaperone therapy (11%, 26/234). Common symptoms included low energy/fatigue (72%, 201/280), tingling (62%, 174/280) or pain in the hands/feet (60%, 168/280), ringing in ears/hearing loss (54%, 151/280), general body pains/pain crises (51%, 143/280), and abdominal/stomach pain (50%, 140/280). More than half (51%, 144/280) of respondents reported their symptoms as bothersome (38%, 106/280) or difficult to control (14%, 38/280). Temporary symptom worsening between infusions was reported by about half of respondents: 51% (108/211) currently receiving ERT and 48% (14/29) previously receiving ERT. Only 48% (59/122) of respondents reported their symptom worsening to their physician. Of those who reported it, 41% (24/59) said that their physician prescribed medication to manage their symptoms or changed their treatment regimen.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis highlights the gap between current standard-of-care in disease monitoring and patient perception of disease progression among patients with FD. This information may be helpful for healthcare providers and drug developers seeking to improve the care of patients with FD by addressing unmet needs of high relevance.

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