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Type: Journal article
Title: Quality of life and mortality in the general population: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Author: Phyo, A.Z.Z.
Freak-Poli, R.
Craig, H.
Gasevic, D.
Stocks, N.P.
Gonzalez-Chica, D.A.
Ryan, J.
Citation: BMC Public Health, 2020; 20(1):1596-1-1596-20
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1471-2458
Statement of
Aung Zaw Zaw Phyo, Rosanne Freak-Poli, Heather Craig, Danijela Gasevic, Nigel P. Stocks, David A. Gonzalez-Chica, and Joanne Ryan
Abstract: Background: Quality of life (QoL) is multi-dimensional concept of an individual' general well-being status in relation to their value, environment, cultural and social context in which they live. This study aimed to quantitatively synthesise available evidence on the association between QoL and mortality in the general population. Methods: An electronic search was conducted using three bibliographic databases, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO. Inclusion criteria were studies that assessed QoL using standardized tools and examined mortality risk in a non-patient population. Qualitative data synthesis and meta-analyses using a random-effects model were performed. Results: Of 4184 articles identified, 47 were eligible for inclusion, involving approximately 1,200,000 participants. Studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of QoL measures, population characteristics and data analysis. In total, 43 studies (91.5%) reported that better QoL was associated with lower mortality risk. The results of four meta-analyses indicated that higher health-related QoL (HRQoL) is associated with lower mortality risk, which was consistent for overall HRQoL (HR 0.633, 95% CI: 0.514 to 0.780), physical function (HR 0.987, 95% CI: 0.982 to 0.992), physical component score (OR 0.950, 95% CI: 0.935 to 0.965), and mental component score (OR 0.980, 95% CI: 0.969 to 0.992). Conclusion: These findings provide evidence that better QoL/HRQoL was associated with lower mortality risk. The utility of these measures in predicting mortality risk indicates that they should be considered further as potential screening tools in general clinical practice, beyond the traditional objective measures such as body mass index and the results of laboratory tests.
Keywords: Quality of life; life quality; health-related quality of life; mortality; meta-analysis; predictor; review
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-09639-9
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