Gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with liver cirrhosis are linked to impaired quality of life and psychological distress.Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr; 21(4):370-5.EJ
The factors that lead to an impaired quality of life (QoL) in patients with liver cirrhosis are incompletely understood. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are frequent in liver cirrhosis and are known to reduce QoL in GI and non-GI diseases.
To study the possible association of GI symptoms with QoL and psychological distress in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Seventy-five consecutive outpatients with liver cirrhosis received validated questionnaires to assess GI symptoms, QoL, anxiety, depression, and neuroticism. GI symptoms were considered as relevant when they occurred often over the last 12 months (more than 3 months total), were at least moderately severe and/or led to consultation of a physician. An association of GI symptoms with QoL and psychological scores was ascertained by logistic regression analysis before and after adjusting for age and sex.
Eighty percent of patients had one or more relevant GI symptoms. Physical component of QoL correlated negatively with Child-Pugh scores (P<0.01), whereas no association between mental component of QoL and Child-Pugh scores was detectable (P=0.4). Both dimensions of QoL decreased significantly with increasing numbers of GI symptoms reported by the patients (physical component: P<0.001; mental component: P<0.01). Number of GI symptoms was also significantly related to poorer anxiety, depression, and neuroticism scores.
GI symptoms are linked to QoL and psychological distress in patients with liver cirrhosis.