Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


The Impact of Chronic Hepatitis C and Co-Morbid Illnesses on Health-Related Quality of Life

Journal Article

Kwan JW, Ruth C. Cronkite, Yiu A, Mary K. Goldstein, Kazis L, Cheung RC

Published by
Quality of Life Research, Vol. 17 no. 5, page(s) 715-24
June 2008

OBJECTIVES: Determine the relative impact of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and co-morbid illnesses on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in 3023 randomly selected veterans with known hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) status who previously completed a veteran-specific HRQoL questionnaire (SF-36V).

METHODS: Multiple regression analyses were performed to measure the relative contribution of anti-HCV status, four demographic variables, and ten common medical and six psychiatric co-morbidities to HRQoL between 303 anti-HCV(+) and 2720 anti-HCV(-) patients.

RESULTS: Anti-HCV(+) veterans were younger, reported a lower HRQoL on seven of eight 36-Item Short Form Health Survey for Veterans (SF-36V) subscales (P < or = 0.001) and the mental component summary (MCS) scale (P < 0.001). The ten medical and six psychiatric co-morbidities had variable impact on predicting lower HRQoL in both groups. After adjusting for demographic variables and co-morbid illnesses, we found that anti-HCV(+) patients reported a significantly lower MCS score (P < 0.001) and a trend toward a lower physical component summary (PCS) score (P < 0.07) compared to anti-HCV(-) veterans. Among the anti-HCV(+) veterans, co-morbid medical illnesses contributed to impaired PCS but not to MCS.

CONCLUSIONS : Veterans with CHC were younger than HCV(-) veterans and hence less likely to have other co-morbid medical illnesses. Medical co-morbidities seen in those veterans with CHC contribute to impaired PCS but not MCS. Anti-HCV(+) status negatively affects HRQoL, particularly MCS, independently of medical and psychiatric co-morbidities.