Cushing’s syndrome can negatively affect patient’s quality of life (QoL) after treatment and remission. Exposure to increased cortisol over time can result in visceral obesity, which makes this population vulnerable to cardiovascular risk factors associated with visceral obesity. Sleep disturbances are present in patients in remission from Cushing’s syndrome, impacting QoL. Moderate intensity physical activity performed 3 times a week decreases visceral obesity and improves sleep quality, therefore, engaging in physical activity after remission may improve patient’s QoL. The current study aims to explore the association between sleep quality, physical activity, and QoL in patients in remission of Cushing’s syndrome.
Patients in bio-chemical remission from Cushing’s syndrome (N = 147) were recruited through the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation. Quality of life was assessed using the Cushing Quality of Life Questionnaire (CushingQoL), sleep was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and physical activity levels were assessed with the Godin-Sheppard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (GSLTPAQ).
Sleep quality was significantly associated with both subscales of the CushingQoL (both p < .001), but physical activity was not significantly associated with either subscale. Sleep was not significantly associated with physical activity engagement in this sample.
Results suggest that patients in remission from Cushing’s syndrome experience sleep disturbances that are significantly associated with impaired QoL. Future research should focus on ameliorating the persisting clinical features of Cushing’s syndrome that are associated with impaired QoL after bio-chemical remission to improve QoL and expedite complete functional remission.