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Ageing and health-related quality of life: evidence from Catalonia (Spain)

Author

Listed:
  • Manuela Alcañiz

    () (Riskcenter, Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economy, Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Aïda Solé-Auró

    (DemoSoc Research Group, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

Background, Reaching advanced old age is more common now than ever. The sustained growth in longevity raises questions about why some people can feel in good quality of life until the last stages, while others seem to accuse the natural deterioration to a larger extent. The self-perceived quality of life has a subjective component, but is also mediated by some easily measurable factors such as sociodemography, health, functioning and lifestyles. Methods, This study uses nationally representative data for Catalonia (Spain) to explain the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of the population aged 80 and above. Cross-sectional data from 2011 to 2016 was provided by an official face-to-face survey. HRQL was measured through the EuroQol-5D, consisting of a 5-question descriptive system (EQ-5D), plus a visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS) that summarizes the current self-perceived health. Linear regression was used to identify variables influencing the EQ-VAS score. Results, The dimensions of the EQ-5D that more severily disturbed the HRQL were mobility problems, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. Self-care or usual activity problems had a milder impact. Other variables were significantly associated with HRQL. Adjusting for age and sex, low education, low social class, being underweighted or obese, having chronic conditions and disabilities, the presence of hospitalizations or visits to the emergency department, taking prescription drugs and limitations in sensory-related abilites were predictors of a poor HRQL. Conclusions, Our study identified the impact of several social, health and healthcare variables on the HRQL on 80-plus population. The multidimensional nature of the results suggests the need for a comprehensive approach to HRQL. Health prevention and promotion policies must address the old age as a specially sensitive stage of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuela Alcañiz & Aïda Solé-Auró, 2018. "Ageing and health-related quality of life: evidence from Catalonia (Spain)," Working Papers 2018-01, Universitat de Barcelona, UB Riskcenter.
  • Handle: RePEc:bak:wpaper:201801
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    File URL: http://www.ub.edu/rfa/research/WP/UBriskcenterWP201801.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    longevity; health-related quality of life; EuroQol-5D; Spain.;

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