Intermittent claudication (IC) and chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) are both associated with a decreased health status and possibly quality of life (QOL). A better understanding of the differences in QOL between patients with IC and CLTI could be of additional value in shared decision-making. The aim of this study was to compare the QOL at baseline between patients with IC and patients with CLTI.
The study population was based on 2 study cohorts, 1 cohort consisted of patients with IC (ELECT registry) and the other cohort of patients with CLTI (KOP-study). Patients with an age of ≥70 years were included. QOL at baseline was measured by the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. Nonresponders were excluded from data analyses. Student's t-tests and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) analyses were used to compare QOL between the 2 groups. Outcomes of the ANCOVA analyses were expressed as estimated marginal means.
In total, 308 patients were included, 115 patients with IC and 193 patients with CLTI. Patients with CLTI were older (median age 80 years vs. 75 years, P < 0.001) and had more comorbidities. Patients with IC had a statistically significant higher QOL regarding physical health (mean 13.7 [standard deviation (SD) 2.3] vs. 10.8 [SD 2.8], P < 0.001), psychological health (mean 15.3 [SD 2.1] vs. 14.1 [SD 2.4], P < 0.001), environment (mean 16.3 [SD 2.4] vs. 15.5 [SD 2.0], P < 0.002), and the overall domain (mean 3.5 [SD 0.7] vs. 3.1 [SD 0.9], P < 0.001). After correcting for the confounding effect of age and sex, patients with IC still had a statistically significant higher QOL in the physical, psychological, environment, and overall domain.
Patients with IC had a significantly higher QOL in the physical, psychological, environment, and overall domains of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire compared with patients with CLTI. This underlines the importance of strategies that reduce disease progression as disease progression is associated with a decrease in QOL.