Studying 12,839 fracture cases and 91,426 controls, we found that fractures of the spine and hip are associated with clinically important HRQoL deficits up to 5 years post-fracture. Fracture cases with a low educational attainment are more likely to report very low HRQoL due to a low pre-fracture HRQoL.
The aim of this study was to explore the short-term and long-term impact of fractures on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to study the effect of educational attainment as a proxy for socio-economic status (SES) on post-fracture HRQoL.
In a population-based survey including 12,839 fracture cases and 91,426 controls, HRQoL was measured using the physical component score (PCS) and the mental component score (MCS) of the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). Information about fractures, age, sex, ethnicity, comorbidity and SES was obtained from national registers. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to measure the mean HRQoL difference, termed deficit, between non-fracture controls and fracture cases (all fractures combined and fractures at six different skeletal sites).
PCS and MCS were significantly lower among fracture cases than among controls. Statistically and clinically important PCS deficits (greater than 5 points) were observed among people with fractures of the spine and hip up to 5 years post-fracture and among people with upper arm fractures up to 1 year post-fracture. Greater deficits were observed for MCS but not for PCS in post-fracture HRQoL in the low than in the high SES group.
Fractures of the spine and hip are associated with clinically important deficits in physical HRQoL up to 5 years post-fracture. Low educational attainment widened the gap in mental but not in physical post-fracture HRQoL. However, due to low pre-fracture PCS and MCS, people with a low educational attainment and fractures were more likely to report very low HRQoL post-fracture.