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01-05-2011 | Uitgave 4/2011

Quality of Life Research 4/2011

Gender differences among middle-aged Koreans for health-related quality of life related to metabolic syndrome

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2011
Yeo-Jin Sohn, Hyun Soon Sohn, Jin-Won Kwon



The influence of metabolic syndrome (MS) on quality of life has not been studied much among Asians, especially Koreans. This study compared the association between MS and health-related quality of life (HRQL) by gender for middle-aged Koreans.


We used data containing 2,264 adults between the ages of 40 and 59 years who participated in the 2005 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. The criteria for MS were defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. HRQL was measured by the EQ-5D preference score. Good health status was defined as having higher scores than the mean EQ5D preference score. We used logistic regression methods to adjust for socioeconomic covariates and survey sample design.


The mean EQ-5D preference score was significantly lower in women with MS compared to women without MS (0.81 vs. 0.88), but this was not the case for men (0.92 vs. 0.92). These consistent results were observed after adjusting for socioeconomic covariates. In multiple logistic analyses, women with MS had a lower likelihood of having good health status compared to women without MS (OR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.38–0.96). For men, there was no difference.


Our study identified a nationally representative health preference score for MS in Korean middle-aged men and women while highlighting a gender difference that merits more research (i.e., MS appeared to have a significant negative impact for women’s HRQL, but not for men). At the very least, future studies should consider gender differences when addressing quality of life among patients with MS.

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