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Comorbid Arthritis Is Associated With Lower Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Adults With Other Chronic Conditions, United States, 2013–2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28749776
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5542545
  • Description:
    Introduction

    Arthritis is related to poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults aged 18 years or older. We sought to determine whether this relationship persisted in an older population using claims-based arthritis diagnoses and whether people who also had arthritis and at least 1 of 5 other chronic conditions had lower HRQoL.

    Methods

    We identified adults aged 65 years or older with Medicare Advantage coverage in November or December 2014 who responded to an HRQoL survey (Healthy Days). For respondents with and without arthritis, we used linear regression to compare mean physically, mentally, and total unhealthy days, overall and in 5 comorbidity subgroups (coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and hypertension), accounting for age, sex, dual Medicaid/Medicare eligibility, rural/urban commuting area, and Charlson Comorbidity Index.

    Results

    Of the 58,975 survey respondents, 44% had arthritis diagnosed through claims. Respondents with arthritis reported significantly more adjusted mean physically, mentally, and total unhealthy days than those without arthritis (P < .001). Older adults with arthritis and either congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or hypertension reported significantly more adjusted physically, mentally, and total unhealthy days than older adults without arthritis but with the same chronic conditions.

    Conclusions

    In older adults, having arthritis is associated with lower HRQoL and even lower HRQoL among those with at least 1 of 5 other common chronic conditions. Because arthritis is so common among older adults, improving HRQoL depends on managing both underlying chronic conditions and any accompanying arthritis.

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