To fill the gap in knowledge about associations of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with comorbid diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN), and/or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the elderly, we explored associations of comorbid DM, HTN, and/or MCI with HRQoL.
Data for this study were from a population-based cross-sectional survey of elderly Taiwanese (≥ 65 years old). Participants (N = 4,634; 47.9% male) were categorized into eight chronic-illness groups: DM only (n = 224); HTN only (n = 1226); DM and HTN (n = 365); MCI only (n = 497); DM and MCI (n = 58); HTN and MCI (n = 303); DM, HTN, and MCI (n = 101); and none (healthy; n = 1860). Associations were examined between the eight chronic-illness groups and HRQoL (measured by EQ-5D scores) using binary logistic regression analyses and generalized linear models adjusted for covariates. Index scores were calculated from EQ-5D scores using Taiwan’s general population-preference weights.
Compared to the healthy group, after adjusting covariates, MCI alone or with other comorbidities was significantly, negatively associated with HRQoL. Among all chronic-illness groups, comorbid DM, HTN, and MCI exhibited the lowest HRQoL. After adjusting covariates, between-group odds ratios for index scores were significant when comparing comorbid DM and MCI to DM only, comparing comorbid HTN and MCI to HTN only and comorbid DM, comparing HTN and MCI to comorbid DM and HTN, suggesting that MCI additively affects HRQoL.
HRQoL of older Taiwanese adults was negatively associated with having MCI. Thus, clinicians managing older persons with chronic illnesses should assess their cognitive function to identify high-risk groups needing HRQoL assistance.