Background/aims The epidemiology of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) may be changing. The aim of the study was to identify trends in presentation of GO to tertiary centres and initial management over time.
Methods Prospective observational study of European Group On Graves’ Orbitopathy (EUGOGO) centres. All new referrals with a diagnosis of GO over a 4-month period in 2012 were included. Clinical and demographic characteristics, referral timelines and initial decisions about management were recorded. The data were compared with a similar EUGOGO survey performed in 2000.
Results The demographic characteristics of 269 patients studied in 2012 were similar to those collected in the year 2000, including smoking rates (40.0% vs 40.2%). Mild (60.5% vs 41.2%, p<0.01) and inactive GO (63.2% vs 39.9%, p<0.01) were more prevalent in 2012. The times from diagnosis of thyroid disease to being seen in EUGOGO centres (6 vs 16 months) and from first symptoms of GO (9 vs 16 months) or from diagnosis of GO (6 vs 12 months) to first consultation in EUGOGO centres were shorter in 2012 (p<0.01). The initial management plans for GO were no different except surgical treatments for patients with mild inactive disease were more frequently offered in the 2012 cohort than in 2000 (27.3% vs 17%, p<0.05), and selenium supplements were offered only in the 2012 cohort (21.2% vs 0%, p<0.01).
Conclusions These findings suggest that the clinical manifestations of patients with GO may be changing over time in Europe.