Patients with cirrhosis experience a worsened quality of life; this may be quantified by the use of health-related QoL (HRQoL) constructs, such as the chronic liver disease questionnaire (CLDQ) and EuroQoL Group—visual analog scale (EQ-VAS). In this multicenter prospective study, we aimed to evaluate HRQoL as a predictor of unplanned hospital admission/early mortality, identify HRQoL domains most affected in cirrhosis, and identify predictors of low HRQoL in patients with cirrhosis.
Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine independent association of HRQoL with primary outcome and identify predictors of low HRQoL. HRQoL was also compared with population norms.
In this cohort of 402 patients with cirrhosis, mean model for end-stage liver disease was 12.5 (4.9). More than 50% of the cohort had low HRQoL, considerably lower than population norms. HRQoL (measured by either CLDQ or EQ-VAS) was independently associated with the primary outcome of short-term unplanned hospitalization/mortality. Every 1-point increase in the CLDQ and every 10-point increase in the EQ-VAS reduced the risk of reaching this outcome by 30% and 13%, respectively. Patients with cirrhosis had lower HRQoL scores than population norms across all domains of the CLDQ. Younger age, female sex, current smoker, lower serum albumin, frailty, and ascites were independently associated with low CLDQ.
Patients with cirrhosis experience poor HRQoL. HRQoL is independently associated with increased mortality/unplanned hospitalizations in patients with cirrhosis and could be an easy-to-use prognostic screen that patients could complete in the waiting room before their appointment.