To analyze the influence of chronic diseases on the quality of life by using short form of 36 (SF-36).Four hundred and thirty-eight people with chronic diseases were surveyed in a township and a city in Sichuan Province. The diseases were classified according to ICD-9 and the quality of life of people with chronic diseases of different systems was analyzed.The quality of life of people with chronic diseases of different systems was lower than that of general people aged 40 or above. The quality of life varied among people with chronic diseases of different systems in four fields, namely PF, SF, VT and MH. The main diseases that influenced the quality of life were mental disorders, infectious and parasitic diseases, the diseases of blood and blood-forming organs.The chronic diseases have decreased the quality of life. The diseases of different systems have had different influences on the quality of life. SF-36 is suitable for assessing the quality of life of people with chronic diseases. Quality of life should be taken as an important health index in chronic disease control and prevention.