Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the incidence and effect of quality of life (QOL) change in Korean sepsis survivors.
Materials and methods: Using the National Health Insurance claim database of South Korea, we included adult sepsis survivors who were primarily diagnosed with sepsis between 2010 and 2018 and survived for more than 1 year after diagnosis. QOL change was defined using three criteria: decrease in annual income level, newly acquired disability, and increase in underlying comorbidities after sepsis.
Results: A total of 119,660 sepsis survivors were included in the final analysis. Overall, worsening QOL was observed in 92,096 (77.0%) of the survivors. Specifically, compared with that of before sepsis diagnosis, 9778 sepsis survivors (8.2%) had a decrease in annual income level, and 10,648 (8.9%) were newly registered as having a disability. Additionally, 74,528 (62.3%) and 79,142 (66.1%) sepsis survivors showed an increase in the Charlson and Elixhauser comorbidity indices, respectively. Among sepsis survivors, post-sepsis disability and increase in comorbidity indices were associated with a higher risk of 3-year all-cause mortality.
Conclusions: We found that most sepsis survivors experienced a worsening in their QOL, which was associated with a higher risk of long-term mortality.
Keywords: Intensive care unit; Mortality; Sepsis.
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