The objective of this study was to compare health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) survivors of different age categories (18–59/60–75/76–85 years) and to compare their HRQOL with an age- and sex-matched normative population. The population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry was used to select all patients diagnosed with DLBCL from 1999 to 2010. Patients (n = 363) were invited to complete the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire, and 307 survivors responded (85 %). Data from an age- and sex-matched normative population (n = 596) were used for comparison. DLBCL survivors aged 18–59 years scored better on physical functioning, quality of life, appetite loss and constipation than survivors of 76–85 years old (all p < 0.05). Financial problems more often occurred in survivors aged 18–59 years compared to survivors of 76–85 years old (p < 0.01). Compared to the normative population, DLBCL survivors aged 18–59 years showed worse scores on cognitive and social functioning and on dyspnea and financial problems (p < 0.01, large- and medium-size effects). In survivors of the other age categories, only differences with trivial or small-size effects were found. Although younger DLBCL survivors have better HRQOL than older survivors, the differences found between younger survivors and normative population were the largest. This suggests that having DLBCL has a greater impact on younger than older survivors and that the worse HRQOL observed in older DLBCL survivors in comparison with younger survivors is caused mostly by age itself and not by the disease.
Keywords: Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, Quality of life, Elderly, Population based