Quality of Life Research

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1403–1414 | Cite as

The Impact of 29 Chronic Conditions on Health-related Quality of Life: A General Population Survey in Finland Using 15D and EQ-5D

  • Samuli I. Saarni
  • Tommi Härkänen
  • Harri Sintonen
  • Jaana Suvisaari
  • Seppo Koskinen
  • Arpo Aromaa
  • Jouko Lönnqvist
Brief communication



Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an essential outcome of health care, but there is no gold standard of HRQoL measurement. We investigated the impact of major chronic conditions on HRQoL using 15D and EQ-5D in a representative sample of Finns.


Information on chronic somatic conditions was obtained by interviews. Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using a structured interview (M-CIDI). Tobit and CLAD regression analysis was used to estimate the impact of conditions on HRQoL at the individual and population level.

Main results

Adjusted for other conditions and sociodemographic variables, Parkinson’s disease had the largest negative impact on HRQoL at the individual level, followed by anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and arthrosis of the hip and knee. Based on prevalence, arthrosis of the hip or knee, depression, back problems and urinary incontinence caused the greatest loss of HRQoL at the population level. The results obtained with the two HRQoL measures differed markedly for some conditions and the EQ-5D results also varied with the regression method used.


Musculoskeletal disorders are associated with largest losses of HRQoL in the Finnish population, followed by psychiatric conditions. Different HRQoL measures may systematically emphasize different conditions.


Chronic conditions Health surveys Health utility Quality of life Quality-adjusted life years 



Censored least absolute deviations


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition


Health-related quality of life


Health Utilities Index


Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview


Quality-adjusted life year


Years lived with disability


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SIS received grants from the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation and the Finnish Medical Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuli I. Saarni
    • 1
  • Tommi Härkänen
    • 2
  • Harri Sintonen
    • 3
  • Jaana Suvisaari
    • 1
  • Seppo Koskinen
    • 2
  • Arpo Aromaa
    • 2
  • Jouko Lönnqvist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mental Health and Alcohol ResearchNational Public Health InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Health and Functional CapacityNational Public Health InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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