Published Papers - Abstract 276

Tooth L, Hockey R, Byles J & Dobson A. Weighted multi-morbidity indexes predict mortality, health service use and health-related quality of life in older women. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2008; 61(2): 151-159

Objective: To develop indexes of multi-morbidity, based on self-reported data, to predict mortality, health service use, help with activities of daily living (ADL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older women. Study design and setting: Cross sectional survey of 10,434 women, aged from 73-78, in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health in 1999, with mortality follow-up to 2005. For analysis, the sample was equally split into a development and validation sample. Weighted and unweighted multi-morbidity indexes were developed and tested.Results: Outcomes ranged from 14% for mortality to 47% for specialist doctor visits. Mortality was predicted by heart disease, stroke, low iron, diabetes, cancer (non-skin), bronchitis/emphysema and Alzheimer’s disease. Different patterns of morbidities were associated with the other outcomes. Weighted and unweighted multi-morbidity index scores were linearly related to increasing risk of each outcome. For each outcome, the weighted scores fitted the data better and had a wider range of possible values. Conclusion: These multi-morbidity indexes predict mortality, health service use, help with ADL, and HRQOL in older women. The indexes could be used as covariates in research with weighted scores having a better chance of discriminating between patient groups than unweighted scores.

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