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1.  History of Foot Ulcer Increases Mortality Among Individuals With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(12):2193-2199.
To compare mortality rates for individuals with diabetes with and without a history of foot ulcer (HFU) and with that for the nondiabetic population.
This population-based study included 155 diabetic individuals with an HFU, 1,339 diabetic individuals without an HFU, and 63,632 nondiabetic individuals who were all followed for 10 years with mortality as the end point.
During the follow-up period, a total of 49.0% of diabetic individuals with an HFU died, compared with 35.2% of diabetic individuals without an HFU and 10.5% of those without diabetes. In Cox regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, education, current smoking, and waist circumference, having an HFU was associated with more than a twofold (2.29 [95% CI 1.82–2.88]) hazard risk for mortality compared with that of the nondiabetic group. In corresponding analyses comparing diabetic individuals with and without an HFU, an HFU was associated with 47% increased mortality (1.47 [1.14–1.89]). Significant covariates were older age, male sex, and current smoking. After inclusion of A1C, insulin use, microalbuminuria, cardiovascular disease, and depression scores in the model, each was significantly related to life expectancy.
AN HFU increased mortality risk among community-dwelling adults and elderly individuals with diabetes. The excess risk persisted after adjustment for comorbidity and depression scores, indicating that close clinical monitoring might be warranted among individuals with an HFU, who may be particularly vulnerable to adverse outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2782976  PMID: 19729524
2.  The association between history of diabetic foot ulcer, perceived health and psychological distress: the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 
While the adverse impact of a history of a foot ulcer on physical health among persons with diabetes is well known, little is known about the association between foot ulcer, perceived health and psychological distress. Results from various studies are difficult to compare as different study designs, samples and/or different questionnaires have been used. The aim of this study was to compare levels of anxiety and depression, psychological well-being and perceived health between persons with diabetes, with or without a history of foot ulcer, and persons without diabetes in a large study of community-dwelling individuals.
This study included 65,126 persons, of whom 63,632 did not have diabetes, 1,339 had diabetes without a history of foot ulcer and 155 had diabetes and a history of foot ulcer. Levels of anxiety and depression were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Psychological well-being was measured on a four-item scale, and perceived health was measured with a one-item question. We investigated whether levels of anxiety, depression, psychological well-being and perceived health were different in the three study groups using multiple regression models controlling for demographic factors, body mass index, smoking and cardiovascular conditions. Separate multivariate analyses comparing the two diabetes samples were additionally adjusted for diabetes-specific variables.
A history of foot ulcer was significantly associated with more depressive symptoms, poorer psychological well-being and poorer perceived health compared to participants without diabetes. In multivariate analyses, perceived health and psychological well-being were significantly poorer among those with a history of foot ulcer compared to those without diabetes. Among persons with diabetes, perceived health was significantly worse among those with a history of foot ulcer. After multivariate adjustment, levels of anxiety and depression and psychological well-being did not differ between the two diabetes groups.
Perceived health and psychological well-being were significantly poorer among participants with diabetes and a history of foot ulcer compared to those without diabetes. Among people with diabetes, a history of foot ulcer had significant negative impact on perceived health but did not independently contribute to psychological distress.
PMCID: PMC2737541  PMID: 19706152
3.  Associations between disease severity, coping and dimensions of health-related quality of life in patients admitted for elective coronary angiography – a cross sectional study 
In patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), the overall aim was to analyse the relationships between disease severity and both mental and physical dimensions of health related quality of life (HRQOL) using a modified version of the Wilson and Cleary model.
Using a cross-sectional design, 753 patients (74% men), mean age 62 years, referred for elective cardiac catheterisation were included. The measures included 1) physiological factors 2) symptoms (disease severity, self-reported symptoms, anxiety and depression 3) self-reported functional status, 4) coping, 5) perceived disease burden, 6) general health perception and 7) overall quality of life. To analyse relationships, we performed linear and ordinal logistic regressions.
CAD and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were significantly associated with symptoms of angina pectoris and dyspnea. CAD was not related to symptoms of anxiety and depression, but less depression was found in patients with low LVEF. Angina pectoris and dyspnea were both associated with impaired physical function, and dyspnea was also negatively related to social function. Overall, less perceived burden and better overall QOL were observed in patients using more confronting coping strategy.
The present study demonstrated that data from cardiac patients to a large extent support the suggested model by Wilson and Cleary.
PMCID: PMC2414820  PMID: 18510727
4.  Cutpoints for mild, moderate and severe pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee ready for joint replacement surgery 
Cutpoints (CPs) for mild, moderate and severe pain are established and used primarily in cancer pain. In this study, we wanted to determine the optimal CPs for mild, moderate, and severe pain in joint replacement surgery candidates with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip or knee, and to validate the different CPs.
Patients (n = 353) completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), the WOMAC Arthritis Index, and the SF-36 health status measure. Optimal CPs for categorizing average pain with three severity levels were derived using multivariate analysis of variance, using different CP sets for average pain as the independent variable and seven interference items from the BPI as the dependent variable. To validate the CPs, we assessed if patients in the three pain severity groups differed in pain as assessed with WOMAC and SF-36, and if BPI average pain with the optimal CPs resulted in higher correlation with pain dimensions of the WOMAC and SF-36 than other CPs.
The optimal CPs on the 0–10 point BPI scale were CP (4,6) among hip patients and CP (4,7) among knee patients. The resulting pain severity groups differed in pain, as assessed with other scales than those used to derive the CPs. The optimal CPs had the highest association of average pain with WOMAC pain scores.
CPs for pain severity differed somewhat for patients with OA of the hip and knee. The association of BPI average pain scores categorized according to the optimal CPs with WOMAC pain scores supports the validity of the derived optimal CPs.
PMCID: PMC2386464  PMID: 18426591
5.  Quality of life in female myocardial infarction survivors: a comparative study with a randomly selected general female population cohort 
A substantial burden associated with MI has been reported. Thus, how survivors experience their quality of life (QOL) is now being given increasing attention. However, few studies have involved women and a comparison with the general population. The aims of this study were to determine the QOL of female MI survivors, to investigate whether their QOL differed from that of the general population, and to evaluate the clinical significance of the findings.
Two cross-sectional surveys were performed; on female MI survivors and the general Norwegian population. The MI survey included women aged 62–80 years, three months to five years after their MI. One hundred and forty-five women responded, yielding a response rate of 60%. A subset of women in the same age range (n = 156) was drawn from a study of 1893 randomly selected Norwegian citizens. QOL was measured in both groups with the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument Abbreviated (WHOQOL-BREF).
The majority (54%) of the female MI survivors presented with ST-elevation in their ECG, 31% received thrombolysis, and 38% had reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Female MI survivors reported significantly lower satisfaction with general health (p = 0.020) and overall QOL (p = 0.017) than women from the general population. This was also the case for the physical and environmental QOL domains (p < 0.001), but not for the psychological and social relationship domains. Estimated effect sizes between the two groups of participants ranged from 0.1 to -0.6.
The burden of MI significantly affects the physical health of elderly women. Still, female MI survivors fare as well as the general female population on psychosocial QOL domains. Action should be taken not only to support women's physical needs but also to reinforce their strengths in order to maintain optimal QOL.
PMCID: PMC2174935  PMID: 17971206
6.  The predictive value of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms for quality of life: a longitudinal study of physically injured victims of non-domestic violence 
Little is known about longitudinal associations between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and quality of life (QoL) after exposure to violence. The aims of the current study were to examine quality of life (QoL) and the predictive value of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for QoL in victims of non-domestic violence over a period of 12 months.
A single-group (n = 70) longitudinal design with three repeated measures over a period of 12 months were used. Posttraumatic psychological symptoms were assessed by using the Impact of Event Scale, a 15-item self-rating questionnaire comprising two subscales (intrusion and avoidance) as a screening instrument for PTSD. The questionnaire WHOQOL-Bref was used to assess QoL. The WHOQOL-BREF instrument comprises 26 items, which measure the following broad domains: physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment. Results of the analysis were summarized by fitting Structural Equation Modelling (SEM).
For each category of PTSD (probable cases, risk level cases and no cases), the mean levels of the WHOQOL-Bref subscales (the four domains and the two single items) were stable across time of assessment. Individuals who scored as probable PTSD or as risk level cases had significantly lower scores on the QoL domains such as physical health, psychological health, social relationships and environmental than those without PTSD symptoms. In addition, the two items examining perception of overall quality of life and perception of overall health in WHOQOL showed the same results according to PTSD symptoms such as QoL domains. PTSD symptoms predicted lower QoL at all three assessments. Similarly PTSD symptoms at T1 predicted lower QoL at T2 and PTSD symptoms at T2 predicted lower QoL at T3.
The presence of PTSD symptoms predicted lower QoL, both from an acute and prolonged perspective, in victims of non-domestic violence. Focusing on the individual's perception of his/her QoL in addition to the illness may increase the treatment priorities and efforts.
PMCID: PMC1892772  PMID: 17517126
7.  Quality of life can both influence and be an outcome of general health perceptions after heart surgery 
Our aim was to investigate the existence of a reciprocal relationship between patients' assessment of quality of life and their appraisal of health. If present, this relationship will interfere with the interpretation of heart surgery's effect on overall quality of life.
Path analysis was used to investigate reciprocal causal relationships between general health perceptions and overall quality of life before and after heart surgery. Longitudinal data from a study of coronary artery bypass surgery were used to model lagged, cross-lagged, and simultaneous paths over four time-points of assessment from before surgery to one year afterwards. The conceptual framework for the analysis was the Wilson and Cleary causal pathway model. General health perceptions were measured with the Short Form 36. Overall quality of life was measured with i) a single question regarding life satisfaction and ii) the multi-item Quality of Life Survey.
Acceptable model fit was obtained for reciprocal causation between general health perceptions and overall quality of life. Regression coefficients changed over different phases of rehabilitation. Serial correlation accounted for much of the variance within variables over time.
The present analysis demonstrates that unidirectional models of causality are inadequate to explain the effect of heart surgery on overall quality of life. Overall quality of life can causally influence as well as be an outcome of health status after coronary artery bypass surgery.
PMCID: PMC1892007  PMID: 17524152

Results 1-7 (7)