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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Population health status of South Asian and African-Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom

Melanie Calvert12*, Helen Duffy2, Nick Freemantle12, Russell Davis3, Gregory YH Lip3 and Paramjit Gill2

Author Affiliations

1 MRC Midland Hub for Trials Methodology Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

2 School of Health and Population Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

3 University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, Birmingham, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:101  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-101

Published: 25 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Population health status scores are routinely used to inform economic evaluation and evaluate the impact of disease and/or treatment on health. It is unclear whether the health status in black and minority ethnic groups are comparable to these population health status data. The aim of this study was to evaluate health-status in South Asian and African-Caribbean populations.

Methods

Cross-sectional study recruiting participants aged ≥ 45 years (September 2006 to July 2009) from 20 primary care centres in Birmingham, United Kingdom.10,902 eligible subjects were invited, 5,408 participated (49.6%). 5,354 participants had complete data (49.1%) (3442 South Asian and 1912 African-Caribbean). Health status was assessed by interview using the EuroQoL EQ-5D.

Results

The mean EQ-5D score in South Asian participants was 0.91 (standard deviation (SD) 0.18), median score 1 (interquartile range (IQR) 0.848 to 1) and in African-Caribbean participants the mean score was 0.92 (SD 0.18), median 1 (IQR 1 to 1). Compared with normative data from the UK general population, substantially fewer African-Caribbean and South Asian participants reported problems with mobility, usual activities, pain and anxiety when stratified by age resulting in higher average health status estimates than those from the UK population. Multivariable modelling showed that decreased health-related quality of life (HRQL) was associated with increased age, female gender and increased body mass index. A medical history of depression, stroke/transient ischemic attack, heart failure and arthritis were associated with substantial reductions in HRQL.

Conclusions

The reported HRQL of these minority ethnic groups was substantially higher than anticipated compared to UK normative data. Participants with chronic disease experienced significant reductions in HRQL and should be a target for health intervention.

Keywords:
Health status; EQ-5D; South Asian; African-Caribbean