Purpose: This analysis examined associations between gender and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as they initiate therapy for CLL outside the clinical trial setting.
Methods: Baseline data were collected as part of Connect® CLL Registry, a prospective observational study initiated in community, academic, and government centers. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were provided by clinicians. Patients reported HRQOL using the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), EQ-5D, and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia (FACT-Leu). Mean scores were analyzed, with statistical significance of differences determined by ANOVA. Multivariate analysis also considered age and line of therapy.
Results: Baseline HRQOL data were available for 1,140 patients: 710 (62 %) men and 430 (38 %) women from 161 centers. Patients were predominantly white (89 %) with mean age 69 ± 11 years. Women reported significantly worse global fatigue (P <0.0001), fatigue severity (P <0.0001), and fatigue-related interference (P = 0.0005) versus men (BFI). Pain/discomfort (P = 0.0077), usual activities (P = 0.0015), and anxiety/depression (P = 0.0117) were significantly worse in women than in men (EQ-5D). With women reporting a better social/family score (P = 0.0238) and men reporting a better physical score (P = 0.0002), the mean FACT-G total score did not differ by gender. However, the mean FACT-Leu total score was better among men versus women (P = 0.0223), primarily because the mean leukemia subscale score was significantly better among men (P <0.0001). Multivariate analysis qualitatively confirmed these findings.
Conclusions: Connect® CLL Registry results indicate that significant differences exist in certain HRQOL domains, as women reported greater levels of fatigue and worse functioning in physical domains.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01081015.