A comparison of health-related quality of life in autonomic disorders: postural tachycardia syndrome versus vasovagal syncope

Juliette Hall, Kate M. Bourne, Robert S. Sheldon, Steven Vernino, Vidya Raj, Jessica Ng, Luis E. Okamoto, Amy C. Arnold, Meredith Bryarly, Lauren Phillips, Sachin Y. Paranjape, Satish R. Raj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and vasovagal syncope (VVS) are two disorders of orthostatic intolerance which are often misdiagnosed as the other. In each case, patients experience a reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL) compared to healthy populations. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that HRQoL is worse in POTS. Methods: POTS patients were recruited from the Dysautonomia International Annual Patient and Caregiver Conference. VVS patient data came from those enrolled in the Second Prevention of Syncope Trial. Participants aged ≥ 18 years (177 POTS and 72 VVS) completed the RAND 36-Item Health Survey, a generic and coherent health-related quality of life survey. Results: POTS patients reported reduced HRQoL compared to VVS patients in physical functioning (42.5 ± 1.7 vs. 76.5 ± 2.9, p < 0.001), role limitations due to physical health (11.4 ± 1.9 vs. 33.0 ± 5.0, p < 0.001), energy and fatigue (27.2 ± 1.3 vs. 50.7 ± 2.6, p < 0.001), social functioning (45.2 ± 1.8 vs. 71.2 ± 2.9, p < 0.001), pain (48.8 ± 1.9 vs. 67.7 ± 2.9, p < 0.001), and general health (31.2 ± 1.5 vs. 60.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.001) domains. Scores did not differ significantly in the role limitations due to emotional health (p = 0.052) and emotional well-being (p = 0.271) domains. Physical and general health composite scores were lower in the POTS population, while mental health composite scores were not different. Conclusion: Differences in HRQoL exist between these patient populations. POTS patients report lower scores in physical and general health domains than VVS patients, but emotional health domains do not differ significantly. Targeting physical functioning in these patients may help improve quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of health-related quality of life in autonomic disorders: postural tachycardia syndrome versus vasovagal syncope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this