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Original Research: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention |

Differences in Health-Related Quality of Life Between New Mexican Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Smokers

Alejandro A. Diaz, MD, MPH; Hans Petersen, MS; Paula Meek, PhD, RN; Akshay Sood, MD, MPH, FCCP; Bartolome Celli, MD, FCCP; Yohannes Tesfaigzi, PhD
Author and Funding Information

FUNDING/SUPPORT: This work was supported by the State of New Mexico (appropriation from the Tobacco Settlement Fund) and grants from the National Institutes of Health (A. A. D., K01HL118714; A. S., K23 HL 094531-01 and 5M01 RR00997; Y. T., R01 HL068111 and R01 ES015482). A. A. D. is also supported by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Minority Faculty Career Development Award.

aBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

bLovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM

cCollege of Nursing, University of Colorado-Denver, Denver, CO

dDepartment of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Alejandro A. Diaz, MD, MPH, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;150(4):869-876. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.06.011
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Background  Smoking is associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL) across all populations. Because decline in lung function and risk for COPD are lower in New Mexican Hispanic smokers compared with their non-Hispanic white (NHW) counterparts, the goal of this study was to ascertain whether HRQL differs between these two racial/ethnic groups and determine the factors that contribute to this difference.

Methods  We compared the score results of the Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) in 378 Hispanic subjects and 1,597 NHW subjects enrolled in the Lovelace Smokers’ Cohort (LSC) from New Mexico. The associations of race/ethnicity with SGRQ and SF-36 were assessed by using multivariable regression.

Results  Physical functioning (difference, –4.5; P = .0008) but not mental health or role emotional domains of the SF-36 was worse in Hispanic smokers than in their NWH counterparts in multivariable analysis. SGRQ total score and its activity and impact subscores were worse in Hispanic (vs NHW) smokers after adjustment for education level, current smoking, pack-years smoked, BMI, number of comorbidities, and FEV1 % predicted (difference range, 2.9-5.0; all comparisons, P ≤ .001). Although the difference in the SGRQ activity domain was above the clinically important difference of four units, the total score was not.

Conclusions  New Mexican Hispanic smokers have clinically relevant, lower HRQL than their NHW counterparts. A perception of diminished physical functioning and impairment in daily life activities contribute to the poorer HRQL among Hispanic subjects.


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