Serious long-term health consequences of Q-fever and Legionnaires' disease

J Infect. 2014 Jun;68(6):527-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 25.


Background: We assessed and compared the long-term health status of Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires' disease.

Methods: Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires' disease fulfilling the Dutch notification criteria filled out a questionnaire at one year after onset of illness. The proportion of patients with an abnormal score was calculated for 12 health status subdomains and mean scores for the most relevant subdomains were compared between the patient groups.

Results: We included 309 Q-fever patients and 190 patients with Legionnaires' disease in the study. A large proportion of the two patient groups was negatively affected on many of the subdomains, especially 'Fatigue', 'General Quality of Life' and 'Role Physical'. We assessed health status of the patient groups using a multivariate regression analysis and found no significant difference for 'Fatigue' and 'General Quality of Life'. Only for the subdomain 'Role Physical', Q-fever patients scored significantly worse compared to patients with Legionnaires' disease.

Conclusions: Many Q-fever patients and patients with Legionnaires' disease suffer from a severely affected health status on one or more subdomains at one year after onset of illness. We recommend additional support for a large proportion of both patient groups during the first year after onset of illness.

Keywords: Fatigue; Health status; Legionnaires' disease; Q-fever; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Legionnaires' Disease / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Q Fever / complications*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires