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11-07-2020 | Uitgave 12/2020

Quality of Life Research 12/2020

Impact of comorbid conditions on disease-specific quality of life in older men and women with atrial fibrillation

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 12/2020
Hawa O. Abu, Jane S. Saczynski, John Ware, Jordy Mehawej, Tenes Paul, Hamza Awad, Benita A. Bamgbade, Isabelle C. Pierre-Louis, Mayra Tisminetzky, Catarina I. Kiefe, Robert J. Goldberg, David D. McManus
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Older persons with atrial fibrillation (AF) experience significant impairment in quality of life (QoL), which may be partly attributable to their comorbid diseases. A greater understanding of the impact of comorbidities on QoL could optimize patient-centered care among older persons with AF.


To assess impairment in disease-specific QoL due to comorbid conditions in older adults with AF.


Patients aged ≥ 65 years diagnosed with AF were recruited from five medical centers in Massachusetts and Georgia between 2015 and 2018. At 1 year of follow-up, the Quality of Life Disease Impact Scale—for Multiple Chronic Conditions was used to provide standardized assessment of patient self-reported impairment in QoL attributable to 34 comorbid conditions grouped in 10 clusters.


The mean age of study participants (n = 1097) was 75 years and 48% were women. Overall, cardiometabolic, musculoskeletal, and pulmonary conditions were the most prevalent comorbidity clusters. A high proportion of participants (82%) reported that musculoskeletal conditions exerted the greatest impact on their QoL. Men were more likely than women to report that osteoarthritis and stroke severely impacted their QoL. Patients aged < 75 years were more likely to report that obesity, hip/knee joint problems, and fibromyalgia extremely impacted their QoL than older participants.


Among older persons with AF, while cardiometabolic diseases were highly prevalent, musculoskeletal conditions exerted the greatest impact on patients’ disease-specific QoL. Understanding the extent of impairment in QoL due to underlying comorbidities provides an opportunity to develop interventions targeted at diseases that may cause significant impairment in QoL.

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