Background: The EuroQoL 5D (EQ-5D) has been widely used in studies of cardiac disease, but its measurement properties in this group are not well established. The study aimed to quantify the relationship between measures commonly used in studies of cardiac disease and the EQ-5D index across different levels of disease severity.
Methods: Patient-level data from 7 studies of cardiac interventions were used, which included randomised trials and observational studies. Relationships between the EQ-5D index and commonly used cardiac measures, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) angina severity class, treadmill exercise time (ETT) and scales of the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) were examined. Mixed effects linear regression was used to assess these relationships, with the EQ-5D index as the response.
Results: Study sample sizes ranged from 68 to 2419. Mean baseline EQ-5D index ranged from 0.77 in patients at diagnosis (95% CI 0.75, 0.78) to 0.43 in patients with advanced disease (95% CI 0.39, 0.48) and differed significantly across studies (p < 0.001). There was evidence of a ceiling effect in patients at diagnosis. The minimum clinically important difference of a one minute increase in ETT was associated with a 0.019 (95% CI 0.014, 0.025) increase in EQ-5D index. One class increase in CCS was associated with a 0.11 (95% CI 0.09, 0.13) decrease in EQ-5D index. A 10 unit increase in SAQ scales was associated with increases between 0.04 and 0.07 in EQ-5D index (95% CIs 0.03, 0.05 and 0.05, 0.08). Tests of heterogeneity indicated the EQ-5D-covariate relationships were consistent across levels of disease severity for ETT and the treatment satisfaction scale of the SAQ, but heterogeneous for age, gender, CCS angina class and other scales of the SAQ.
Conclusion: The EQ-5D index varies with coronary disease severity. The relationship between the EQ-5D index and an outcome measure used in cardiac intervention studies, ETT, was consistent across disease severity levels, but the relationship between demographic variables, CCS angina class and most of the SAQ scales and the EQ-5D index was heterogeneous for patients with different levels of coronary disease. Differences in the EQ-5D index associated with clinically important differences in cardiac measures can be quantified and vary between three important examples - angina class, ETT and SAQ.