Background In the United States, 2.5 million women have heart failure, yet little is known about their quality of life. Because most studies included small samples of women, the results are not generalizable.

Objective To compare the quality of life of women with heart failure with that of a normative group and with that of women with other chronic conditions.

Methods Descriptive techniques were applied to baseline data collected in the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction trials to characterize quality of life in women with heart failure (n = 691). Global quality of life and the quality-of-life dimensions of physical function, emotional distress, social health, and general health were measured by using the Ladder of Life, items from the Profile of Mood States Inventory, the Functional Status Questionnaire, the Beta Blocker Heart Attack Trial instrument, and an item from the RAND Medical Outcomes Study instrument.

Results Compared with the normative group of women, women with heart failure had significantly lower global quality of life; worse vigor, intermediate activities of daily living, social activity, and general health ratings; and higher ratings for anxiety and depression. Fewer than half of the women with heart failure felt that they were healthy enough to perform normal activities.

Conclusions Women with heart failure have worse quality of life than do normative populations and patients with other chronic diseases such as hypertension, Parkinson disease, and cancer.

You do not currently have access to this content.