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Eur Respir J. 2002 Jan;19(1):113-20.

Quality of life in patients with chronic alveolar hypoventilation.

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Dept of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


Measurements of health-related quality of life (HRQL) have not been reported in patients with chronic alveolar hypoventilation (CAH) before starting home mechanical ventilation. The purpose of this study was to investigate quality of life in a population of such patients. Forty-four consecutive patients with CAH due to previous polio, scoliosis, healed pulmonary tuberculosis or neuromuscular disease answered a battery of condition specific and generic (Sickness Impact Profile, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, Mood Adjective Check List) self-report questionnaires. Spirometry, arterial blood gases and overnight oxygen saturation were measured. Patients with untreated CAH had significantly impaired HRQL compared to historical data from a healthy reference population. Sleep-related problems were frequent. Age, underlying disease, and standard bicarbonate correlated significantly with HRQL measures, albeit with modest levels of explained variance (8-37%). Patients with chronic alveolar hypoventilation due to neuromuscular or restrictive chest wall disorders had severely impaired health-related quality of life. Age, the underlying disease and severity of hypoventilation are each related to the health-related quality of life decrements. Health-related quality of life measurements add important information to traditional clinical observations.

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