Objectives: We investigated the association between metabolic syndrome (MS) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) assessed using generalised and obesity-specific QOL instruments.
Methods: We recruited 456 outpatients [age: 19–81 years, body mass index (BMI): 16.3–36.7 kg/m2] in the primary care division from 12 general hospitals in Korea. HRQOL was measured using EuroQol comprising the health states descriptive system (EQ-5D) and visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS) as a general instrument. The Korean Obesity-related QOL scale (KOQOL) composed of six domains was used as a disease-specific QOL instrument. MS was defined on the basis of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria with Korean-specific waist circumference cutoffs (men: 90 cm, women: 85 cm).
Results: Subjects with MS displayed significantly higher impairment of EQ-5D and KOQOL. Binary logistic regression analysis of MS patients with controls for age, gender, smoking, alcohol, exercise, education, income, marital status and medication history disclosed odds ratio (OR) values of 2.13 (1.33–3.41) for impaired total KOQOL, 2.07 (1.31–3.27) for impaired physical health, 1.63 (1.03–2.60) for impaired work-related health, 2.42 (1.45–4.04) for impaired routine life, 2.08 (1.27–3.40) for impaired sexual life and 2.56 (1.59–4.11) for diet distress. Among the EQ-5D dimensions, only pain/discomfort displayed a significantly increased OR of 1.60 (1.01–2.56) in MS group.
Conclusions: Subjects with MS displayed a significantly impaired HRQOL compared with those without MS. MS and HRQOL were more strongly associated in obesity-specific QOL than in generalised QOL.