Determinants of Self-reported Health Outcomes in Adrenal Insufficiency: A Multisite Survey Study

Dingfeng Li, Natalia Genere, Emma Behnken, Majlinda Xhikola, Tiffany Abbondanza, Anand Vaidya, Irina Bancos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context: Current evidence on determinants of adverse health outcomes in patients with adrenal insufficiency (AI) is scarce, especially in regards to AI subtypes. Objective: To determine predictors of adverse outcomes in different subtypes of AI. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional survey study at 2 tertiary centers. Participants: A total of 696 patients with AI: primary AI (PAI, 42%), secondary AI (SAI, 32%), and glucocorticoid-induced AI (GIAI, 26%). Intervention: Patient-centered questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: Patients' knowledge, self-management of AI, self-perceived health, and adverse outcomes. Results: The incidence rate of adrenal crisis was 24/100 patient-years with 44% experiencing at least 1 adrenal crisis since diagnosis (59% in PAI vs 31% in SAI vs 37% in GIAI, P <. 0001). All patients described high degrees of discomfort with self-management and receiving prompt treatment. Patients with PAI were most likely to develop adrenal crises (adjusted OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.9-4.0) despite reporting better self-perceived health (adjusted OR 3.3, 95% CI 2.1-5.3), understanding of their diagnosis (89% vs 74-81% in other subtypes, P =. 002), higher comfort with self-management (62% vs 52-61% in other sub types, P =. 005), and higher likelihood to receive prompt treatment for adrenal crises in the emergency department (42% vs 19-30% in other subtypes, P <. 0001). Conclusions: Patients with AI reported high degrees of discomfort with self-management and treatment delays when presenting with adrenal crises. Despite better self-perceived health and understanding of diagnosis, patients with PAI experienced the highest frequency of adrenal crises. A multidimensional educational effort is needed for patients and providers to improve the outcomes of all subtypes of AI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1408-E1419
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • adrenal crisis
  • diagnosis
  • glucocorticoid therapy
  • healthcare delivery
  • management


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