Poverty and health-related quality of life of people living in Hong Kong: comparison of individuals from low-income families and the general population.

Research paper by Cindy Lo Kuen CL Lam, Vivian Yawei VY Guo, Carlos King Ho CK Wong, Esther Yee Tak EY Yu, Colman Siu Cheung CS Fung

Indexed on: 26 May '16Published on: 26 May '16Published in: Journal of public health (Oxford, England)


To assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among Chinese adults from low-income households in Hong Kong, and to explore any threshold of household income that impaired HRQOL.A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on 298 adults from low-income families when they enrolled into a cohort study between 2012 and 2014. HRQOL was measured by the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey-version 2 (SF-12v2). Their mean SF-12v2 subscale and summary scores were compared with those of 596 age-sex-matched subjects randomly selected from a database of 2763 adults from the Hong Kong general population (ratio = 1:2). Multiple linear regressions were conducted to determine any association between monthly household income and HRQOL.Subjects from low-income households had significantly lower SF-12v2 bodily pain, general health, vitality and physical component summary (PCS) scores than the age-sex matched subjects from the general population. Subgroup analysis showed that a household income <50% of the median monthly household income in Hong Kong (HK$10 000 ≈ US$1290, i.e. poverty line in Hong Kong) was independently associated with poorer PCS and mental component summary (MCS) scores after adjustment for socio-demographics and co-morbidities.Chinese adults from low-income households had poorer HRQOL, and <50% of the median monthly household income seems to be the threshold for impairment of both physical and mental HRQOL. The findings support the current definition of the poverty line.