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Gender differences in health-related quality of life of adolescents with cystic fibrosis.

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Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Female patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have consistently poorer survival rates than males across all ages. To determine if gender differences exist in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of adolescent patients with CF, we performed a cross-section analysis of CF patients recruited from 2 medical centers in 2 cities during 1997-2001.


We used the 87-item child self-report form of the Child Health Questionnaire to measure 12 health domains. Data was also collected on age and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). We analyzed data from 98 subjects and performed univariate analyses and linear regression or ordinal logistic regression for multivariable analyses.


The mean (SD) age was 14.6 (2.5) years; 50 (51.0%) were female; and mean FEV1 was 71.6% (25.6%) of predicted. There were no statistically significant gender differences in age or FEV1. In univariate analyses, females reported significantly poorer HRQOL in 5 of the 12 domains. In multivariable analyses controlling for FEV1 and age, we found that female gender was associated with significantly lower global health (p < 0.05), mental health (p < 0.01), and general health perceptions (p < 0.05) scores.


Further research will need to focus on the causes of these differences in HRQOL and on potential interventions to improve HRQOL of adolescent patients with CF.

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