Association Between Peripheral Blood Cell Count Abnormalities and Health-Related Quality of Life in the General Population

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Abstract

Complete blood cell counts, including differentials, are widely available and change on aging. Peripheral blood cell counts outside the normal range have previously been associated with increased mortality rates and a number of comorbid conditions. However, data about the association between blood cell count abnormalities, other than anemia, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are scarce. We investigated the association between abnormalities in (differential) blood cell counts and HRQoL in 143 191 community-dwelling individuals from the prospective population-based Lifelines cohort. HRQoL was measured using the RAND 36-Item Health Survey. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the effect of blood cell count abnormalities on the odds of having a lower score than an age- and sex-specific reference value for each domain. Leukocytosis, neutrophilia, and a high neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio were associated with impaired HRQoL across multiple domains, both for younger and older (≥60 years) individuals. Using multivariable models, we confirmed that these associations were independent of the potential confounding factors obesity, smoking, alcohol use, number of medications (as a measure of comorbidity), anemia, and mean corpuscular volume. The impact on HRQoL was most pronounced for high neutrophil levels. Further, high white blood cell counts proved to be a better marker for inferior HRQoL as compared to elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels. Decreased HRQoL in several domains was also observed for individuals with monocytosis, lymphocytosis, and thrombocytosis. Taken together, the present study demonstrates an association between inflammatory and myeloid-skewed blood cell counts and inferior HRQoL in community-dwelling individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere503
Number of pages9
JournalHemaSphere
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021

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