Which long-term illnesses do patients find most limiting? A census-based cross-sectional study of 340,000 people

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Abstract

Objectives
To investigate associations between a widely used measure of self-assessed health (limiting long-term illness, LLTI) and 11 long-term health conditions.

Methods
Information on LLTI and health conditions was obtained from 2011 Census returns for a 28% representative sample of the Northern Ireland population (n = 342,868). Logistic regression was used to predict LLTI by sex and age group for each condition found in isolation, adjusting for marital status, social class, household car access, housing tenure, and educational attainment. The relationship between limitation and multimorbidity was also assessed.

Results
Prevalence of LLTI varied considerably among conditions when found in isolation; those with mobility problems were over 50 times more likely to report limitation than those with hearing loss. Women were less likely to report limitation than men [OR = 0.93 (0.90, 0.96)], but the pattern of associations with health conditions was similar for both sexes. Prevalence of LLTI increased with age and number of health conditions.

Conclusions
LLTI was most closely associated with mobility problems. Limitation increased slightly with age, but patterns of LLTI across conditions were not sex dependent.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Early online date09 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Dec 2016

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