Quality of life, utility and health burden in asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and rheumatoid arthritis

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András Inotai
Tamas Agh
Agnes Meszaros


Rationale, aims and objectives: Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic conditions with different prevalence, mortality and effect on patient’s quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to compare the QoL and utility of patients in these three conditions with the general Hungarian population and to estimate the one-year health loss due to utility decrement and health loss due disease-specific mortality in these illnesses. Method: One generic (EuroQoL EQ-5D) and one disease-specific (St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality of Life) QoL instrument was used in cross sectional, non-interventional studies.Results: A total of 869 consecutive patients were recruited (402 with asthma, 214 with COPD and 253 with RA). Utility values among patients were significantly lower compared to the general population in all age cohorts (p<0.001). RA was associated with significantly lower utilities compared to asthma between the ages of 45 to 64 and compared to COPD between the ages of 45-74 (p<0.05). There was, however, no significant difference between QoL of the two respiratory disorders. Based on conservative estimates (e.g. considering age between 45-84), asthma, COPD and RA contribute to a total annual health loss of 20,905, 66,911 and 10,660 quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in Hungary, respectively.Conclusions: The three conditions result in considerable health burden (QALY loss) to Hungarian society. Our results emphasise that calculation of the overall health burden, beside prevalence and mortality, should also be based on utility decrement.

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Health Promotion


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