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Chronic breathlessness associated with poorer physical and mental health-related quality of life (SF-12) across all adult age groups
  1. D C Currow1,2,3,
  2. E Dal Grande4,
  3. D Ferreira1,
  4. M J Johnson3,
  5. N McCaffrey1,
  6. M Ekström5
  1. 1Discipline, Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  2. 2Southern Adelaide Palliative Services, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  3. 3Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  4. 4Population Research and Outcomes Studies Unit, Discipline of Medicine, Health Services Faculty, Adelaide University, Adelaide, Australia
  5. 5Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Professor David Currow, Discipline, Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia; david.currow{at}


Little is known about the impact of chronic breathlessness (modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) score ≥2 for most days, at least three of the last six months) on health-related quality of life (Short Form-12 (SF-12)). 3005 adults from randomly selected households were interviewed face-to-face in South Australia. mMRC ≥2 community prevalence was 2.9%. Adjusted analyses showed clinically meaningful and statistically significant decrements of physical and mental components of SF-12 (mean SF-12 summary scores in physical (−13.0 (−16.0 to −10.2)) and mental (−10.7 (−13.7 to −7.8)) components compared with people with mMRC=0) as chronic breathlessness severity increased, across five age groupings.

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  • Contributors All authors contributed equally.

  • Funding Funding for this study was derived from discretionary funds held by the Discipline, Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The Ethics Committee of the South Australian Department of Health.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All available data can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author.