The aims of the study were to assess the health-related quality of life (QOL) in patients with Takayasu's arteritis (TA) by two different generic QOL instruments and to compare the results with those patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and healthy controls (HC). A cross-sectional study was performed in 51 patients with TA (41 women; mean age 38.4 +/- 13.5), 43 RA (36 women; 55.2 +/- 9.6), 31 AS (12 women; 41.2 +/- 13.1), and 75 HC (53 women; 38.8 +/- 10.9). Quality of life was assessed by using Short-Form 36 (SF-36) and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Separate dimensions of SF-36 and NHP and physical and mental summary scores of SF-36 as well were compared between patients and control groups. Physical and mental health summary scores and all SF-36 subscales, except for social functioning, were significantly lower in patients with TA than healthy controls. No significant differences between TA, RA, and AS patients were found in all SF-36 subscales and summary scores. NHP scores for energy level, pain, emotional reactions, and physical mobility were significantly higher in TA patients than controls. All NHP subscales, except for pain, were comparable in patients with TA, RA, and AS. Pain score was worse in RA patients. The NHP scores for sleep and social isolation were not different between patients and controls. Many aspects of QOL in patients with TA are significantly impaired in comparison with local healthy controls and similar to those in patients with RA and AS.