Aim: To ascertain the effect of serious systemic comorbidities upon the quality of life of patients with ophthalmic diseases.
Methods: Time tradeoff utility values were obtained in consecutive ophthalmic patients who presented with ocular disease. Multivariate analysis was undertaken to evaluate whether the systemic comorbidities of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular accident, and/or renal failure requiring dialysis influenced ocular utility values.
Results: Among the 390 patients with ocular diseases studied, 250 had the systemic comorbidities of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and/or renal failure requiring dialysis, while 140 lacked these comorbidities. There was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.091) between the comorbidity and no comorbidity groups in self assessed quality of life as measured by ocular utility values after taking into account potentially confounding variables.
Conclusions: In patients with ocular disease, ocular utility values related to the visual loss do not appear to be affected by the presence of select, concomitant, serious systemic diseases. Thus, visual loss seems to cause a similar diminution in self assessed quality of life in those who do and do not have serious associated systemic comorbidities. This information has important implications for the calculation of cost effective analyses.
Keywords: utilities, comorbidities, quality of life