Background: Anemia is common in cancer and has been associated with fatigue and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We report the association between hemoglobin and fatigue and the impact of reducing fatigue on several domains of HRQOL. Patients and methods: These analyses were based on five randomized trials. Patients completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) Anemia scales and numeric rating scales of Energy, Activity and Overall Health at baseline and after the 12-week treatment period. t-tests and linear regression models were used to evaluate associations. Analyses were stratified into three groups: solid tumor chemotherapy patients, lymphoproliferative malignancy chemotherapy patients and non-chemotherapy patients. Results: Adjusted mean differences (95% CI) in FACT Fatigue change scores between hemoglobin responders (≥ 2g/dl increase) and non-responders were 3.0 (1.2,4.7), 2.8 (0.6, 5.0) and 5.8 (2.2, 9.5) among the solid tumor, lymphoproliferative malignancy and non-chemotherapy groups, respectively. Significantly greater improvements (P <0.01) were observed in the FACT well-being scales for patients with meaningful improvement in fatigue (FACT Fatigue change score ≥3 points). After controlling for other factors, patients whose fatigue improved reported substantially greater improvements in energy, ability to perform usual activities and overall health (P <0.0001). Conclusions: Across five trials of cancer patients on and off chemotherapy, hemoglobin response was associated with meaningful improvements in fatigue, which, in turn, was associated with improved physical, functional, emotional and overall well-being.
- Quality of life
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