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Health-related quality of life in adults from 17 family practice clinics in North Carolina.

Callahan LF, Shreffler J, Mielenz TJ, Kaufman JS, Schoster B, Randolph R, Sloane P, DeVellis R, Weinberger M. Health-related quality of life in adults from 17 family practice clinics in North Carolina. Preventing chronic disease. 2009 Jan 1; 6(1):A05.

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Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: We examined health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in white and African American patients based on their own and their community's socioeconomic status. METHODS: Participants were 4,565 adults recruited from 17 family physician practices in urban and rural areas of North Carolina. Education was used as a proxy for individual socioeconomic status, and the census block-group poverty level was used as a proxy for community socioeconomic status. HRQOL measures were the 12-Item Short Form Survey Instrument, physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS), and 3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HRQOL healthy days measures. Multilevel analyses examined independent associations of individual and community poverty level with HRQOL, adjusting for demographics and clustering by family practice. Analyses were stratified by race and were conducted on subgroups of arthritis and cardiovascular disease patients. RESULTS: Among whites, all 5 HRQOL measures were significantly associated with the lowest individual socioeconomic status, and 4 HRQOL measures were associated with the lowest community socioeconomic status (MCS being the exception). Among African Americans, 4 HRQOL measures were significantly associated with the lowest individual socioeconomic status and the lowest community socioeconomic status (PCS being the exception). Arthritis and cardiovascular disease subgroup analyses showed generally analogous findings. CONCLUSION: Better HRQOL measures generally were associated with low levels of community poverty and high levels of education, emphasizing the need for further exploration of factors that influence health.





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