Co-morbidity is a powerful predictor of health care outcomes and costs, as well as an important cofounder in epidemiologic studies. The effect of co-morbidities is generally related to mortality or complications. This study evaluated the association between co-morbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients awaiting total joint replacement.
A total of 893 patients were recruited to the study between August 2002 and November 2003 in four Finnish hospitals. The effect of co-morbidity on HRQoL was measured by the generic 15D instrument and by a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Comparative variance analysis of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics was described by using either an independent samples t-test or the Chi-square test. The differences in each of the 15D dimensions and the overall 15D single index score for patients were calculated. Two-sided p-values were calculated with the Levene Test for Equality of Variances.
Patients with co-morbidity totaled 649; the incidence of co-morbidity was 73%. The mean number of co-morbidities among the patients was two. At baseline the 15D score in patients with and without co-morbidity was 0.778 vs 0.816, respectively. The difference of the score (0.038) was clinically and statistically significant (P
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