Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality; however, its geographical variation in older adults in the United States has not been characterized. Researchers compared HRQOL among older U.S. adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using the Health and Activities Limitation Index (HALex). They also compared the HRQOL of 4 regions: South, West, Midwest, and Northeast.
Researchers analyzed pooled data from 1997 through 2010 from the National Health Interview Survey for participants aged 65 or older. HALex scores (which range from 0 to 1.00, with higher values indicating better health) were calculated by combining data on participants' perceived health and activity limitations. Researchers ranked states by mean HALex score and performed analyses to compare low scores among US regions after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.
Researchers found that older residents of Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia had the lowest mean HALex scores; residents of Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont had the highest mean scores. Residents in the Northeast and the Midwest were less likely than residents in the South to have scores in the lowest quintile after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.
Article: Geographical Variation in Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older US Adults, 1997-2010, Diana Kachan, BS; Stacey L. Tannenbaum, PhD; Henry A. Olano, BA; William G. LeBlanc, PhD; Laura A. McClure, MSPH; David J. Lee, PhD, Prev Chronic Disease, doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140023, published online 3 July 2014.