To investigate the risk factors influencing quality of life with the aim of providing evidence for valid health promotion measures.The authors used the short form 36 to assess the quality of life of 2249 residents in Sichuan Province. The data of potential risk factors including social economic status, culture, chronic condition and personal characteristics were collected. The Student t test, variance analysis, and stepwise multivariate regression methods were used to test the impacts of different risk factors on quality of life.Chronic condition, age, sex, educational level, marital status, occupation, personal income, number of family members, number of generation in a family, inhabitant places (urban or rural), and way of payment of medical expenditure were correlated with all or most of the domains of the short form 36 in t-test or one-way variance analysis. When the effect of interaction between factors were excluded by use of multivariate regression, the chronic condition, personal income, inhabitant places, age, and educational level remained to be significant risk factors. Marital status also had impacts on a few domains.The key steps of promoting the quality of life should include the prevention and control of chronic conditions, the development of economy, and the improvement of people's income and educational level. It is necessary to provide norms of the short form 36 stratified by inhabitant's place and age. Further research would be needed to provide evidence for the necessity of norms stratified by sex.