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Significant impairment of health-related quality of life in mainland Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B: a cross-sectional survey with pair-matched healthy controls

Guihua Zhuang1*, Min Zhang1, Yong Liu2, Yaling Guo3, Qian Wu1, Kaina Zhou1, Zhenhao Ji1 and Xiaomei Zhang1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Heath, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, No. 76 West Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China

2 Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, No. 76 West Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China

3 The Eighth Hospital of Xi’an, No. 2 East Zhangba Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2014, 12:101  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-12-101

Published: 14 June 2014



Few studies have evaluated health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in mainland China. We aimed at characterizing the impact of CHB on HRQoL in mainland Chinese and finding out factors associated with HRQoL.


460 CHB patients (323 with CHB only, 54 with compensated cirrhosis and 83 with decompensated cirrhosis) and 460 pair-matched healthy controls were recruited in Xi’an city. They answered a structured questionnaire including the Short Form 36 version 2 (SF-36v2), the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) (only for patients), and questions on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. A blood sample was collected from each of patients for liver function tests. SF-36v2 scores were compared between patients and controls overall and by groups by paired-samples t-test, and CLDQ scores and paired differences of SF-36v2 scores were compared among three patient groups by one-way ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis test. Multi-variable linear regression analyses were performed to identify determinants of HRQoL in patients.


Patients, overall and by groups had significantly lower SF-36v2 scores than controls on all summaries and domains, with differences higher than the suggested minimally important difference values. Both the SF-36v2 and the CLDQ showed that HRQoL of patients with cirrhosis further deteriorated, but compensated and decompensated cirrhosis patients had similar total HRQoL impairments. The gradually increasing impairment with disease progression was confirmed only on physical components. Impaired liver function and currently taken anti-viral treatment were associated with lower HRQoL. Education attainment and annual per capita household income had a positive effect on HRQoL.


Mainland Chinese CHB patients suffered significant HRQoL impairment on all health dimensions, and the impairment reached a high level on mental health at initial stage of illness and increased gradually on physical health with disease progression. Attention should be paid to the reduction of patients’ treatment cost burden and the provision of early health education accompanied with proper treatments.

Chronic hepatitis B; Health-related quality of life; Short Form 36 version 2; Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire; Preference; Mainland Chinese