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.