1 Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
2 Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
3 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
5 Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
6 Liver Disease Research Branch, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.
BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection have not been well-described in North American cohorts.
AIMS: To evaluate several PROs and associations with HBV disease activity markers.
METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis including 876 adults who completed PRO measures during the Hepatitis BResearch Network Adult Cohort Study. Participants on HBV treatment were excluded. Outcomes included: HRQoL using the SF-36 mental component summary and physical component summary scores; symptom burden using a 10-item Total Symptom Checklist and fatigue using an instrument from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System®. Covariates included laboratory markers of disease severity, virological status, comorbidities and medications.
RESULTS: Median age was 42 (range: 19-79), 51% were female, 73% Asian, 19% HBeAg (+), 2% had AST-platelet ratio index (APRI) ≥1.5 and 74% without comorbidities. Mean mental component summary T-score = 52, physical component summary T-score = 54 and PROMIS Fatigue T-score = 47. On a scale from 0 (none) to 40 (extreme), the mean Symptom Checklist score = 3 and 25% reported no symptoms. The most frequent symptoms were fatigue (60%), irritability (32%) and itching (32%). Most symptoms were 'a little bit' bothersome. In multivariable regressions, APRI ≥1.50 and more comorbidities were associated with worse patient-reported outcomes; virological markers were not. Adding the Total Symptom Checklist score to original regression models increased explanation of variation in the mental component summary score from 4% to 44% and the Physical Component Summary Score from 17% to 34%.
CONCLUSIONS: Untreated North American HBV patients with mild liver disease report favourable health-related quality of life and minimal symptoms. HBV does not impact health-related quality of life unless advanced liver disease or comorbidities are present. High symptom burden explains substantial variation in health-related quality of life. (CT.gov identifier: NCT01263587).