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18-04-2018 | Uitgave 8/2018

Quality of Life Research 8/2018

Quality of life of middle-aged adults in single households in South Korea

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2018
Hyun Jin Song, Susan Park, Jin-Won Kwon
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-018-1858-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The number of single households has increased worldwide with middle-aged people in such households indicating the highest increase. However, there is a lack of studies on the topic. This study estimated the quality of life (QOL) by household type for middle-aged Korean adults.


We used the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2007 to 2015. QOL was analyzed using EQ-5D 3-level, and demographic and health-related variables were included as confounders. The households were divided into single household, married couple without child, other one-generation, married couple with child, single parent with child, other two-generation, and three-generation. Logistic regression using level, strata, and sample weight of data was performed based on average QOL.


This study included 18,147 responders aged 45–64 years, with single households constituting 5.7%. Single households having average or less QOL were 48.4%, with men and women constituting 40.1 and 53.3%, respectively. After adjusting socioeconomic factors and health-related factors, the odds ratio (OR) of single households was 1.375 (95% CI 1.122–1.684) compared to the three-generation group. According to the sex, the OR of single households with men was higher (OR 1.552, 95% CI 1.121–2.149). However, no significance was found in women.


The study results revealed that middle-aged people in single households had low QOL than those in multi-person households. The trend was significantly observable in men than in women. Because middle-aged adults might transform into elderly with low QOL, program development and social support for middle-aged adults in single households should be provided.

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