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Volume 4 (2004), Pages 746-757
Research Article

Using Health Utility Index (HUI) for Measuring the Impact on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) Among Individuals with Chronic Diseases

1Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada, 120 Colonnade Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0K9, Canada
2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem and Zusman Child Development Center, Division of Pediatrics, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Received 1 April 2004; Revised 12 August 2004; Accepted 12 August 2004

Academic Editor: Mohammed Morad

Copyright © 2004 Frank Mo et al.


Quality of life is an important indicator in assessing the burden of disease, especially for chronic conditions. The Health Utilities Index (HUI) is a recently developed system for measuring the overall health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL) of individuals, clinical groups, and general populations. Using the HUI (constructed based on eight attributes: vision, hearing, speech, mobility, dexterity, cognition, emotion, and pain/discomfort) to measure the HRQL for chronic disease patients and to detect possible associations between HUI system and various chronic conditions, this study provides information to improve the management of chronic diseases.This study is of interest to data analysts, policy makers, and public health practitioners involved in descriptive clinical studies, clinical trials, program evaluation, population health planning, and assessments. Based on the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) for 2000–01, the HUI was used to measure the quality of life for individuals living with various chronic conditions (Alzheimer/other dementia, effects of stroke, urinary incontinence, arthritis/rheumatism, bowel disorder, cataracts, back problems, stomach/intestinal ulcers, emphysema/COPD, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, migraine headaches, glaucoma, asthma, fibromyalgia, cancers, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, thyroid condition, and other remaining chronic diseases). Logistic Regression Model was employed to estimate the associations between the overall HUI scores and various chronic conditions. The HUI scores ranged from 0.00 (corresponding to a state close to death) to 1.00 (corresponding to perfect health); negative scores reflect health states considered worse than death. The mean HUI score by sex and age group indicated the typical quality of life for persons with various chronic conditions. Logistic Regression results showed a strong relationship between low HUI scores (≤ 0.5 and 0.06–1.0) and certain chronic conditions. Age- and sex-adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) and p values showed an effect among individuals diagnosed with each chronic disease on the overall HUI score. Results of this study showed that arthritis/rheumatism, heart disease, high blood pressure, cataracts, and diabetes had a severe impact on HRQL. Urinary incontinence, Alzheimer/other dementia, effects of stroke, cancers, thyroid condition, and back problems have a moderate impact. Food allergy, allergy other than food, asthma, migraine headaches, and other remaining chronic diseases have a relatively mild effect. It is concluded that major chronic diseases with significant health burden were associated with poor HRQL. The HUI scores facilitate the measurement and interpretation of results of health burden and the HRQL for individuals with chronic diseases and can be useful for development of strategies for the prevention and control of chronic diseases.