(HealthDay News) – Long-term survivors of acute liver failure report lower quality of life compared with the general population, while survivors of acetaminophen overdose report the lowest quality of life, possibly due to psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, according to a study published online June 18 in Liver Transplantation.

Amol S. Rangnekar, MD, from the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, and colleagues prospectively analyzed quality of life via two questionnaires in 282 adult acute liver failure patients. Of these, 125 patients had undergone liver transplantation and 157 were spontaneous survivors (95 of acetaminophen overdose and 62 of non-drug-induced liver failure).

During two years of follow-up, the researchers found that survivors of acetaminophen overdose reported significantly lower general health scores, more days of impaired mental and physical health, activity limitations due to poor health and psychiatric problems, and higher rates of psychiatric disease and substance abuse compared with the other groups. Compared with the general U.S. population, a greater proportion of the entire spontaneous survivor group reported fair or poor health, more than two weeks of impaired physical or mental health, and activity limitations due to poor health. Similarly, a greater proportion of liver transplant patients also reported more than two weeks of impaired physical or mental health than the general population.

“In conclusion, long-term adult acute liver failure survivors report significantly lower quality of life scores than U.S. population controls,” Rangnekar and colleagues write. “Furthermore, acetaminophen overdose spontaneous survivor patients report the lowest quality of life scores, possibly due to a higher rate of premorbid psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.”

One author has been a consultant for several pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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