Quality of Life Research

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1687–1696 | Cite as

Health status and quality of life: results from a national survey in a community-dwelling sample of elderly people

  • Christophe LuthyEmail author
  • Christine Cedraschi
  • Anne-Françoise Allaz
  • François R. Herrmann
  • Catherine Ludwig



To investigate the relation between age and HRQoL indicators in a community-dwelling population aged 65 years and older.


Data were collected within a sample stratified by age (65–69; 70–74; 75–79; 80–84; 85–89; 90 years and above) and sex and randomly selected in the population records in Switzerland. The EQ-5D was used to assess HRQoL. Analyses were conducted on the entire available sample (N = 3,073) and on the subsample with no missing data in the EQ-5D (N = 2,888), considering age, gender, education and region.


Results of multiple regression analyses showed different age-related patterns across the EQ-5D. The proportion of respondents reporting no problems ranged from 51 % in the 65- to 69-year age group to 20 % in the 90 years and above age group. Odds ratio (OR) for Mobility problems increased from 2.04 in the 75- to 79-year age group to 13.34 in the 90 years and above age group; OR for Usual Activities increased from 1.76 to 11.68 and from 1.55 to 2.32 for Pain/Discomfort; OR for Self-Care increased from 5.26 in the 80- to 84-year age group to 30.36 in the 90 years and above age group. Problems with Self-Care remained low, increasing from 6.22 % in the 80- to 84-year age group to 26.21 % in the oldest age group. The magnitude of the gender, region and education effects was much lower than that of age.


HRQoL is globally preserved in older adults in Switzerland, even if substantial impairment is reported in very old age affecting mainly functional health dimensions. Anxiety/Depression and Pain/Discomfort did not appear to be affected by age; high rates of difficulties were reported for Pain/Discomfort but not for Anxiety/Depression.


Health-related quality of life Aging Life conditions Community-dwelling elderly 



The data were made available by the Individual Project No. 13 of the National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES (SNF No. 125770) and the Sinergia Project (SNF No. CRSII1-129922), both funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The authors wish to acknowledge Pro Senectute Schweiz for its financial and logistic support as well as the following local authorities and institutions for their logistic support: for Canton Geneva, The Département de la solidarité et de l’emploi and the Département des affaires régionales, de l’économie et de la santé du Canton de Genève; for Canton Wallis, The Département de la sécurité, des affaires sociales et de l’intégration and the Département des finances, des institutions et de la santé de l’Etat du Valais; for Canton Ticino: The Dipartimento della sanità e della socialità del Canton Ticino.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Luthy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine Cedraschi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anne-Françoise Allaz
    • 1
  • François R. Herrmann
    • 3
  • Catherine Ludwig
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General Medical RehabilitationGeneva University Hospitals, Geneva UniversityGeneva 14Switzerland
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Pharmacology and ToxicologyGeneva University Hospitals, Geneva UniversityGeneva 14Switzerland
  3. 3.Division of GeriatricsGeneva University Hospitals, Geneva UniversityThônexSwitzerland
  4. 4.School of Health – GenevaUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO)GenevaSwitzerland

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