Purpose: The objective of this study is to investigate the association between women's perceptions of their husband's drinking behavior and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the postpartum period.
Methods: We used multistage stratified systematic sampling to recruit 24,200 pairs, postpartum women and newborns, from the Taiwan national birth register in 2005. A structured questionnaire to assess lifestyle risk behaviors and HRQOL was successfully administered to 87.8% of the sampled population. Subjects undertook a home interview 6 months after their deliveries between June 2005 and July 2006. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form (SF-36) was used to measure the HRQOL of the wives, and the scores were used to look for associations with their perceptions of husband's alcohol-drinking behavior.
Results: After controlling for the potential confounders, wives' scores on all SF-36 scales except the PF scale were inversely associated with the frequency of their husbands' alcohol drinking. Moreover, the MCS measure was also inversely associated with in the frequency of their husbands' alcohol drinking but the PCS did not show any association.
Conclusions: Our study adds evidence supporting the negative association between of husbands' alcohol drinking and their wives' health as measured by the SF-36 HRQOL, especially for mental health.