Quality of life in patients with various liver diseases

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Summary.Little is known comparing and contrasting quality of life (QoL) in patients with hepatitis C, compared to patients with other liver diseases. We performed two independent prospective cross-sectional studies including 511 and 284 patients with different forms of liver diseases. SF-36 was used in both studies. Fatigue Impact Score, WHO-BREF and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used in either study only. In both studies, HCV-positive patients scored worse in the mental aspects of health-related QoL compared to other liver diseases, except for HBV in one study. Surprisingly, in both studies, quality of life was also significantly impaired in patients with viral clearance after interferon therapy but not after spontaneous clearance. Furthermore, patients with primary biliary cirrhosis showed significantly better mental health but significantly worse physical well-being. Liver diseases differ in their form of impaired QoL. In HCV, this impairment might not always return to normal after treatment-induced viral clearance. This may suggest that HCV either may not be involved in QoL impairment or may induce a process which persists after viral clearance in some patients.

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