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Cumulative social disadvantage and health-related quality of life: national health interview survey 2013–2017

Hagan, Kobina, Javed, Zulqarnain, Cainzos-Achirica, Miguel, Hyder, Adnan A., Mossialos, Elias ORCID: 0000-0001-8664-9297, Yahya, Tamer, Acquah, Isaac, Valero-Elizondo, Javier, Pan, Alan, Nwana, Nwabunie, Taha, Mohamad and Nasir, Khurram (2023) Cumulative social disadvantage and health-related quality of life: national health interview survey 2013–2017. BMC Public Health, 23 (1). ISSN 1471-2458

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12889-023-16168-8


BACKGROUND: Evidence for the association between social determinants of health (SDoH) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is largely based on single SDoH measures, with limited evaluation of cumulative social disadvantage. We examined the association between cumulative social disadvantage and the Health and Activity Limitation Index (HALex). METHODS: Using adult data from the National Health Interview Survey (2013-2017), we created a cumulative disadvantage index by aggregating 47 deprivations across 6 SDoH domains. Respondents were ranked using cumulative SDoH index quartiles (SDoH-Q1 to Q4), with higher quartile groups being more disadvantaged. We used two-part models for continuous HALex scores and logistic regression for poor HALex (< 20th percentile score) to examine HALex differences associated with cumulative disadvantage. Lower HALex scores implied poorer HRQoL performance. RESULTS: The study sample included 156,182 respondents, representing 232.8 million adults in the United States (mean age 46 years; 51.7% women). The mean HALex score was 0.85 and 17.7% had poor HALex. Higher SDoH quartile groups had poorer HALex performance (lower scores and increased prevalence of poor HALex). A unit increase in SDoH index was associated with - 0.010 (95% CI [-0.011, -0.010]) difference in HALex score and 20% higher odds of poor HALex (odds ratio, OR = 1.20; 95% CI [1.19, 1.21]). Relative to SDoH-Q1, SDoH-Q4 was associated with HALex score difference of -0.086 (95% CI [-0.089, -0.083]) and OR = 5.32 (95% CI [4.97, 5.70]) for poor HALex. Despite a higher burden of cumulative social disadvantage, Hispanics had a weaker SDoH-HALex association than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Cumulative social disadvantage was associated with poorer HALex performance in an incremental fashion. Innovations to incorporate SDoH-screening tools into clinical decision systems must continue in order to accurately identify socially vulnerable groups in need of both clinical risk mitigation and social support. To maximize health returns, policies can be tailored through community partnerships to address systemic barriers that exist within distinct sociodemographic groups, as well as demographic differences in health perception and healthcare experience.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2023 16:09
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 05:09

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