Serum calcium is an independent predictor of quality of life in multiple myeloma

Finn Wisloff, Ann Kristin Kvam, Martin Hjorth, Stig Lenhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone disease is an important feature of multiple myeloma, and hypercalcaemia is a frequent complication of this disease. We examined the association between serum calcium and quality of life (QOL) scores of 686 multiple myeloma patients at the time of diagnosis. Data from two Nordic studies using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire were analysed by means of linear regression analysis and a curve fitting program. Serum calcium was independently related to appetite loss, nausea/vomiting and physical functioning (P < 0.001) and to cognitive functioning (P = 0.001), i.e. scores reflecting symptoms that are well known in non-malignant hypercalcaemia. In addition, we found a highly significant independent relationship between serum calcium and the scores for fatigue and pain (P < 0.001). Serum calcium appeared to be as strong a predictor for fatigue as the concentration of haemoglobin. A cubic model (y = a + bx(3)) fitted the data slightly better than the simple linear model (y = a + bx) and suggested worsening QOL scores at levels of serum calcium above 2.5-3.0 mmol/L. Hypercalcaemia in patients with multiple myeloma seems to be associated with the same symptoms as in non-malignant hypercalcaemia. In addition, an increased level of serum calcium may aggravate the pain and fatigue caused by the skeletal disease itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Hematology/Transplantation (013022014), Division of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine (013041100)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Hematology

Free keywords

  • parameters
  • multiple regression
  • disease
  • myeloma
  • hypercalcaemia
  • quality of life
  • serum calcium


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