Gender influences Health-Related Quality of Life in IPF

Respir Med. 2010 May;104(5):724-30. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2009.11.019. Epub 2009 Dec 24.


Background: HRQL in IPF patients is impaired. Data from other respiratory diseases led us to hypothesize that significant gender differences in HRQL in IPF also exist.

Methods: Data were drawn from the NIH-sponsored Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC). Demographic and pulmonary physiology data along with MMRC, SF-12, and SGRQ scores from women vs. men were compared with two-sample t-tests. Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association between SF-12 component scores and gender while adjusting for other relevant variables.

Results: The study sample consisted of 147 men and 74 women. Among several baseline variables, only DL(CO)% predicted differed between women and men, (43.7 vs. 38.0, p=0.03). In general, men exhibited lower (better) MMRC scores (1.7 vs. 2.4, p=0.02), particularly those with milder disease as measured by DL(CO)% predicted. In an adjusted analysis, SF-12 PCS scores in men were lower (worse) than women (p=0.01), an effect that was more pronounced in men with greater dyspnea scores. In a similar analysis, SF-12 MCS scores in women were lower than men (worse) (48.3 vs. 54.4, p=0.0004), an effect that was more pronounced in women with greater dyspnea scores.

Conclusions: Significant gender differences in HRQL exist in IPF. As compared to women, men reported less severe dyspnea, had worse SF-12 PCS scores, but better SF-12 MCS scores. Dyspnea appears to have a greater impact on the physical HRQL of men and the emotional HRQL of women. An improved understanding of the mechanism behind these differences is needed to better target interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / psychology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sex Factors*
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome