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Prev Chronic Dis. 2011 Jan;8(1):A09. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Health-related quality of life among adults with multiple chronic conditions in the United States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2007.

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  • 1Center for Urban Population Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 1020 N 12th St, Suite 4180, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA.



Little is known about health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among people with multiple chronic conditions. We examined the association between the number of chronic conditions and self-reported HRQOL outcomes among adults in the United States.


We used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2007 (n = 430,912) to compare 4 HRQOL measures for people with any of 8 chronic conditions. We also assessed the frequency of self-reported physical and mental distress and the number of days activity was limited because of chronic conditions. We estimated prevalence and adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by using survey logistic regression analyses.


People with 3 or more chronic conditions had the highest risk of reporting fair or poor health compared with respondents with no chronic conditions (AOR, 8.7; 95% CI, 8.0-9.4). People with cardiovascular conditions or diabetes had higher risk of reporting poor HRQOL outcomes than those with other chronic conditions. The odds ratios for frequent physical distress were consistently higher than those for frequent mental distress and frequent activity limitations for all conditions.


Strategies that help clinicians to manage their patients' chronic conditions may contribute to improved HRQOL among adults. Our findings may help to inform these strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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