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BACKGROUND: Given the high prevalence of chronic conditions and multimorbidity in the elderly, there is a need to determine which chronic conditions have the greatest impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and identify where additional intervention may be required. OBJECTIVE: To explore the impact of a range of common chronic conditions on HRQL in a community-based population aged 65 years or more in the UK. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data derived from a large (n = 5849) cross-sectional study. HRQL was assessed using the EuroQoL EQ-5D. Multivariable models were used to estimate the relative effect of 15 individual common chronic conditions and combinations of these conditions on HRQL. RESULTS: Mean age of participants was 74.6 years, 49.2% were male. The mean EQ-5D index score was 0.78 (standard deviation 0.2), range -0.43 to 1.00. Overall, 53% (n = 3078) of the cohort reported problems with pain, 39% (n = 2273) with mobility and 9% (n = 529) with self-care. Multivariate modelling demonstrated that impaired HRQL was significantly associated with 13 of the 15 common chronic conditions studied. Clinically meaningful reductions in EQ-5D index scores were observed for osteoarthritis (-0.081, P = 0.0006), neurological disease (-0.172, P < 0.0001) and depression (-0.269, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This study quantifies the relative impact of 13 common chronic conditions on HRQL in a UK-based community-dwelling ageing population. Findings indicate that osteoarthritis, depression and neurological disease have a strong clinically important negative effect on HRQL. These findings may help clinical decision making and priority setting for management of individuals with multimorbidity.

More information

Type

Journal article

Publication Date

01/07/2014