Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

The health status of elderly veteran enrollees in the Veterans Health Administration.

Selim AJ, Berlowitz DR, Fincke G, Cong Z, Rogers W, Haffer SC, Ren XS, Lee A, Qian SX, Miller DR, Spiro A, Selim BJ, Kazis LE. The health status of elderly veteran enrollees in the Veterans Health Administration. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2004 Aug 1; 52(8):1271-6.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: To examine the health status of elderly veteran enrollees, stratified by age group, and compare with nonveteran populations. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Outpatient. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1,406,049 veteran enrollees were surveyed, and 887,775 returned the questionnaire (63.1%). Of these, 663,729 (74%) were aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Patient demographics, comorbid conditions, and health status, which was assessed using the Veterans 36-item short form (SF-36), a reliable and valid measure of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). RESULTS: Elderly veteran enrollees are a group with poor health status across all scales of the Veterans SF-36. Significant decline in HRQoL was found in patients grouped by increasing age (65-74, 75-84, and > or = 85). Of the Veterans SF-36 scales, the role physical and role emotional scales and physical functioning presented the largest decrements by age group. The elderly veteran enrollees had poorer health status than older people enrolled in Medicare managed care, ranging from 0.5 to 1 standard deviations worse. CONCLUSION: Elderly veteran enrollees have substantial disease burden, as reflected by major impairments across multiple dimensions of HRQoL. These findings bear important implications for use of services, suggesting that the Veterans Health Administration will require considerable resources to provide care for its aging population.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.