High mortality rates have been reported in historical cohorts of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) patients. The mortality associated with (hydroxymethylbilane synthase) HMBS variant heterozygosity is unknown. This study estimates all-cause mortality in pedigrees with HMBS gene variants that cause AIP. We collected data on the lifespan of individuals in Dutch AIP pedigrees and performed analyses using the family tree mortality ratio method. This gave us standardized mortality ratios for these pedigrees compared to the Dutch general population as a primary outcome. Between 1810 and 2017, the overall mortality in these pedigrees was identical to that of the general Dutch population: (SMR 1.01, p = 0.441). However, compared with the general population the SMR was significantly higher in women aged 45–64 years (SMR 1.99, p = 0.00003), which was based on excess mortality between 1915 and 1964 (SMR 1.94, p < 0.00002). In men aged 70–74 years, the SMR was 1.55 (p = 0.0021), based on excess mortality that occurred between 1925 and 1964 (SMR 1.92, p = 0000000003). Overall, mortality from HMBS variant heterozygosity was not increased compared with the general population. Severe excess mortality occurred in young women and old men between 1915 and 1964. Heterozygotes reached a normal lifespan during the past half-century, in parallel with disease awareness and the prevention of new attacks through family counselling.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was initiated and data collection started in 2016. Rochus Neeleman’s position was supported by a grant (033.14) from the Foundation for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research (SLO).
© 2022 by the authors.