Impaired health-related quality of life in Romanian patients with chronic viral hepatitis before antiviral therapy

Cristina Pojoga, Dan Lucian Dumitraşcu, Oliviu Pascu, Mircea Grigorescu, Corina Radu, Dana Damian
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2004, 16 (1): 27-31

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Chronic hepatitis is a disabling condition leading to impairment of a patient's quality of life. We investigated the impact of chronic viral hepatitis on health-related quality of life. The relationship between transaminase level and score in the quality-of-life questionnaire was also investigated.

METHODS: We studied 66 patients with chronic viral hepatitis (27 with hepatitis B, 38 with hepatitis C, 1 with hepatitis B+C; 32 men, 34 women) naive to any previous antiviral therapy. All had high levels of transaminases. Patients with chronic disease or those using drugs to modify their quality of life were discarded. The control group consisted of 36 healthy volunteers (17 men, 19 women). Both groups completed the Short Form 36 health survey, with the exception of the items concerning bodily pain.

RESULTS: Significant differences between the two groups for every domain of quality of life (physical functioning, role physical, mental health, role emotional, social functioning, vitality and general health) were recorded. We found no significant correlation between the level of transaminases and any item of the health-related quality-of-life questionnaire. In hepatitis B patients, several quality-of-life scores (general health, social functioning, mental health) were better than in hepatitis C patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with chronic viral hepatitis not receiving antiviral therapy have an impaired quality of life as estimated by the Short Form 36 health survey.

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