Are Gender Differences in Health‑related Quality of Life Attributable to Sociodemographic Characteristics and Chronic Disease Conditions in Elderly People?

Karimollah Hajian‑Tilaki, Behzad Heidari, Arefeh Hajian‑Tilaki


Background: The objective of this study was to determine the gender differences in health‑related quality of life (HRQoL) and to indicate to what extent this difference can be explained by differential in demographic and chronic disease conditions in Iranian elderly people.

Methods: This analysis was carried out on cross‑sectional data of QoL assessment among 750 elderly individuals aged 60–90 years who were dwelling in urban population of Babol, the North of Iran. The multiple linear regression model was used to estimate the association between gender
and HRQoL after controlling sociodemographic characteristics and chronic disease conditions.

Results: Women had signifcantly lower score in HRQoL in all subscales compared with men after adjusting several confounding factors (P = 0.001). The unadjusted mean difference in overall HRQoL scores was -11.2 (95% confdence interval [CI]: -13.8, -8.6) points, but it was reduced to -6.5 (95% CI: -9.0, -3.9) points between gender after adjusting by age, educational level, living status, physical activity, smoking, abdominal obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

Conclusions: Adjusting for sociodemographic and chronic disease conditions reduced the effect size of poorer HRQoL for women compared with men but did not remove the sex differences. The poorer scores of HRQoL in Iranian women needs further physical, psychological, and social
supports in elderly.

Keywords: Chronic diseases, elderly, gender differences, health‑related quality of life, sociodemographic characteristics

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