What Is the Life Expectancy of Wegener's Disease?

Without treatment, Wegener’s sufferers could die within a few months.

Before effective therapies were discovered the mean survival of adults with GPA was just five months. 82% of patients died within the first year and 90% within the second year. With the introduction of corticosteroids as a treatment that mean life expectancy rose to twelve months. It was only when prednisone and cyclophosmamide were used in conjunction did the remission rate rise to over 90%. With appropriate treatment the outlook for Wegener’s Disease sufferers is good.

The prognosis in Wegener’s Disease is dependant on how severely the disease has attacked the sufferer and the damage that was done to the major organs such as the lungs and especially the kidneys in the active phase of the disease. Wegener’s Disease may be present for months or even years before it is diagnosed, and it can often initially be misdiagnosed as another disease altogether.

An early diagnosis of Wegener’s Granulomatosis means a better outlook. About half of all Wegener’s sufferers will improve with treatment but then go on to relapse (have a ‘flare’) within two years of stopping their treatment. You may have many such flares in the years following your diagnosis which will require a temporary increase in your treatment. This treatment will then be reduced as you go into ‘remission.’

If the Wegener’s is not caught early then the inflammation may affect the lungs and kidneys. This could potentially lead to lung damage or kidney failure. Your eyes could also be affected as well as your nose. Many people suffer from nasal septum perforation. If you present with this symptom, your doctor may suspect that you are a heavy drug user and that the hole in your nose may have been caused by snorting illegal drugs!

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.