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Study: Comorbid Arthritis Associated with Lower Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Adults

10:30 EDT 31 Jul 2017 | Businesswire
Humana Inc.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today announced results from a study that found arthritis is associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults aged 65 and older who have one or more other chronic conditions.

The study, published today in Preventing Chronic Disease and co-authored by researchers from Humana and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggests that improving HRQoL in older adults will depend upon managing both underlying chronic conditions and any accompanying arthritis.

HRQoL was measured in this study using the CDC Healthy Days four-question survey, which assesses an individual’s perceived physical and mental health over time. Specifically, the survey asks individuals how they perceive their recent health, including how many days over the previous month they felt physically or mentally unhealthy, and the total number of days where usual activities were limited.

The study found that, on average, older adults with arthritis and at least one of four other chronic conditions (congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or hypertension) reported significantly more activity-limited days and physically, mentally, and total unhealthy days than those without arthritis but with the same chronic conditions. Individuals with arthritis and coronary artery disease, the fifth chronic condition studied, reported significantly more physically and total unhealthy days and days with activity limitation, but not more mentally unhealthy days.

“It is well established that arthritis is an important determinant of health-related quality of life,” said Eric Havens, MA, clinical analytics manager at Humana and lead author of the study. “Our findings build upon this by showing that, in individuals with common chronic conditions, comorbid arthritis is associated with an even greater decrease in self-reported physical and mental health.”

Nearly one in three older adults suffer from arthritis, and many of these individuals have one or more other chronic conditions,” said Laura Happe, PharmD, MPH, and Chief Pharmacy Officer at Humana. “Improving the health and well-being of this population may require a holistic approach to managing chronic conditions that also emphasizes arthritis, given its association with further diminished mobility and quality of life.”

The study evaluated a Humana Medicare Advantage population of 58,975 individuals who responded to a Healthy Days survey sent in November and December 2014. Of the total survey respondents, claims data revealed that 44 percent had an arthritis diagnosis and 82 percent had least one of the five other chronic conditions.

In addition to Havens, co-authors of the study include:

  • S. Lane Slabaugh, PharmD, MBA, principal researcher, Humana
  • Charles G. Helmick, MD, senior medical epidemiologist, Arthritis Program, CDC
  • Tristan Cordier, MPH, clinical analytics manager, Humana
  • Matthew Zack, MD, MPH, medical epidemiologist, Division of Population Health, CDC
  • Vipin Gopal, PhD, enterprise vice president, clinical analytics, Humana
  • Todd Prewitt, MD, director, clinical best practices, Humana

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

Humana Corporate Communications
Alex Kepnes, 502-580-2990
akepnes@humana.com

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