Among older adults, the responsiveness of self-rated health to changes in Charlson comorbidity was moderated by age and baseline comorbidity

First Health Services Corporation/PACE, 4000 Crums Mill Road, Suite 301, Harrisburg, PA 17112, USA.
Journal of clinical epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 09/2008; 62(2):177-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.05.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the impact of changes in comorbidity--as measured by the Charlson comorbidity index--on self-rated health in a large sample of community-dwelling elderly over a 1-year period, and to examine the differential effects of changes in specific Charlson diagnostic categories.
Longitudinal survey data on self-rated health were linked with Medicare inpatient, outpatient, and physician visit data for 30,535 U.S. elderly residing in Pennsylvania. Multivariate logistic regression with fractional polynomials was used to model relationships involving baseline and changing Charlson comorbidity with self-rated health decline, and to evaluate covariate interactions.
Comorbidity change was associated with greater likelihood of worsened self-rated health, but the relationship was nonlinear and was moderated by age and baseline comorbidity. The impact of comorbidity change appeared to be less among older individuals and those with higher baseline comorbidity. Declines in self-rated health were most likely following new diagnoses for metastatic tumors, paralysis, and dementia.
Self-rated health is responsive to changes in Charlson comorbidity, but nonlinearity and interactions suggest complexity in how elderly respond to comorbidity change. Younger individuals and those with initially low comorbidity are more likely to reduce self-ratings of health following new diagnoses for chronic conditions.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Diabetic patients’ lifestyle adaptations to improve glycaemic control are not always followed by improvements in self-rated general health (SRH). The perceived impact of diabetes on patients’ daily lives may influence changes in their SRH. This paper examines the association of illness severity, treatment, behavioural, and coping-related factors with changes in SRH from diagnosis of type 2 diabetes until one year later, in a population-based sample of 599 patients aged 40 years or over who were treated in general practice. Methods Change in SRH was estimated by a cumulative probit model with the inclusion of covariates related to SRH (e.g. illness severity at diagnosis, behaviour, treatment, and the perceived impact of diabetes on patients’ daily lives one year later). Results At diagnosis, 11.6% of patients reported very good, 35.1% good, 44.6% fair and 8.5% poor SRH. Physical inactivity, many diabetes-related symptoms, and cardiovascular disease were related to lower SRH ratings. On average SRH improved by 0.46 (95% CI: 0.37; 0.55) during the first year after diagnosis without inclusion of covariates. Mental and practical illness burden was the only factor associated with change in SRH, independent of patients’ diabetes severity and medical treatment (p=0.03, multivariate analysis). Compared to otherwise similar patients without illness burden, increase in SRH was marginally smaller among patients who expressed minor illness burden, but much smaller among patients with more pronounced illness burden. Conclusions Much as one would expect, many patients increased their SRH during the first year after diabetes diagnosis. This increase in SRH was not associated with indicators of illness severity or factors reflecting socio-demographic circumstances, but patients experiencing illness burden had a smaller increase than those who reported no illness burden. We suggest that during the diabetes consultation, general practitioners explore further how patients manage their illness burden. We further suggest that diabetes guidelines extend their current focus on clinical and social aspects of diabetes to include questions on patient’s perceived illness burden and SRH.
    BMC Public Health 04/2015; DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1790-6 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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