Background: Hypertension is an important public health issue in China, but there are few studies on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for patients with hypertension in China. This study aims to examine the HRQoL as measured by EQ-5D and investigate the factors that influence HRQoL for patients with hypertension in Shaanxi Province, China.
Methods: Data were collected from the Shaanxi's fifth National Health Service Survey conducted in 2013. EQ-5D was employed to measure the HRQoL for patients with hypertension. The Chinese population-based preference trade-off time (TTO) model was used to convert the EQ-5D values. All descriptive analyses, including demographic characteristics, socio-economic status and clinical characteristics, were stratified by urban and rural residence. Tobit regression model was used to investigate the influencing factors of HRQoL.
Results: A statistically significant difference was observed between the EQ-5D utility scores of urban (0.891) and rural hypertension patients (0.870). The urban hypertension patients showed significantly higher utility scores than the rural patients in three of the five dimensions, namely usual activities, pain / discomfort and anxiety / depression. The influencing factors of HRQoL for hypertension patients in China included age, marital status, education level, employment status, physical activity and medical examination. For patients aged 55 years and above, EQ-5D utility score decreased significantly with increasing age. The EQ-5D score increased with higher education level. Married patients showed a higher EQ-5D score than divorced and widowed patients, and employed patients showed a higher score than unemployed and retired patients. Regular physical activity and medical examination had a positive effect on the HRQoL of hypertension patients.
Conclusions: Our study indicated that urban hypertension patients might have higher HRQoL than rural patients in Shaanxi, China. To enhance HRQoL, it is necessary to strengthen the health education for hypertension patients to improve hypertension prevention and to adopt healthy habits such as regular physical activity. It is also important to strengthen the management and monitoring of hypertension in the elderly, and further implement the free medical examination program for the elderly under the public health programs.
Keywords: EQ-5D; HRQoL; Hypertension; Tobit regression model.