Aims: A cross-sectional multicenter study was designed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQL) in women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were attended in the outpatient setting in actual conditions of the daily practice.
Methods: A total of 1786 women with COPD (mean age of 66.5 years) and 1661 pairs of men and women matched by age and COPD severity participated in a cross-sectional study. HRQL was measured with the Short Form 12 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-12).
Results: The mean PCS-12 and MCS-12 scores were 36.5+/-10.3 and 44.1+/-11.8, respectively. General health and physical functioning domains were those with the lowest scores, whereas role emotional and social functioning were those with the highest scores. The percentage of women with low HRQL increased according to age, whereas the percentage of women with high or normal HRQL decreased significantly. In relation to COPD severity, more women rated HRQL as low in the physical component than in the mental component. HRQL correlated significantly with FEV(1) in both PCS-12 and MCS-12 scales. As expected, an inverse significant correlation between HRQL and degree of dyspnea in the PCS-12 and the MCS-12 scales was observed. Women had also a significantly worse HRQL than men in all physical and mental domains.
Conclusions: In outpatient women with COPD, HRQL was impaired especially the physical component of the SF-12. For the same age and severity of COPD, women showed significantly lower scores in all physical and mental domains of the SF-12 than men.