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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 864961, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/864961
Research Article

Erythromelalgia? A Clinical Study of People Who Experience Red, Hot, Painful Feet in the Community

Department of Surgical Sciences, Otago Medical School Dunedin, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Received 23 January 2013; Revised 16 March 2013; Accepted 9 April 2013

Academic Editor: Thomas Schmitz-Rixen

Copyright © 2013 D. Friberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We recruited a population of people who clinically suffer from the symptoms of erythromelalgia, red, hot, painful feet made worse by heat and improved by cooling, to better characterise this population and measure their quality of life (QOL). Ninety-two individuals completed the QOL surveys, and 56 individuals were clinically assessed. There was a 3 : 1 ratio of females to males with an average age of 61 years. The estimated prevalence of people who had clinical symptoms of erythromelalgia in the Dunedin community was 15/100,000. Only 27% of people had received a diagnosis for their symptoms despite seeking medical attention. People in the study population had worse quality of life than the general New Zealand population . In the majority of participants symptoms had a mild-moderate effect on their quality of life. The results of this study indicate that the number of people who have clinical symptoms of erythromelalgia is much greater than is commonly accepted and that the majority of these individuals go unrecognised by the medical profession despite seeking help. They have significantly diminished QOL with the majority of people having mild-to-moderate symptoms.