Severe mucopolysaccharidosis type I (also known as Hurler syndrome) is a rare devasting recessive genetic disease caused by the deficiency of an enzyme. Hematopoietic stem cell transplant is the standard of care in the United States, usually conducted before the child is 3 years of age, but little is known about the continued medical and educational needs of the child after transplant. A greater understanding of the burden of illness on the primary caregiver is also needed. Therefore, this online survey sought to gather information on the burden of severe MPS I in the United States at least 1 year after transplant.
Thirty-two respondents reported that children with severe MPS I have significant medical and educational needs after transplant. Healthcare resource use was frequent, especially in the outpatient setting specifically for bone, cardiac, and vision complications that were not relieved by HSCT. Twenty-five percent of the children had been hospitalized at least once in the last year and two had been hospitalized twice. The most common reasons for overnight hospitalizations included orthopedic surgeries and respiratory infections. Among children ages 5 and older, only 3 of 28 (11%) were able to attend school with no special support. While caregivers were generally satisfied with the healthcare services their child receives, 69% of working caregivers reported negative impact on their ability to conduct work tasks, and 54% of caregivers did not work so that they could care for the child.
Results suggest that severe MPS I children continue to require medical care and special support for education. Future research on the burden of illness on families affected by severe MPS I is needed to better understand total cost of care, and to identify therapies and interventions that reduce burden of illness. Future studies that compare cost of and access to health care in different countries may provide a more global view of the burden of MPS I.