The association between self-reported lifestyle changes and health-related quality of life in coronary patients: the EUROASPIRE III survey.

Patients with coronary heart disease often suffer from an impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A healthier lifestyle not only extends individuals' lengths of life but might also improve their HRQoL. The aim of this study was to explore the relation between self-reported lifestyle changes and HRQoL in European coronary patients.MethodsData on 8745 coronary patients, from 22 countries, participating in the EUROASPIRE III survey (2006-2007) were used. These patients hospitalized for coronary artery bypass graft, percutaneous coronary intervention, acute myocardial infarction, or myocardial ischaemia were interviewed and examined at least 6 months and no later than 3 years after their hospital admission to gather information on their HRQoL, self-reported lifestyle changes, and risk factors.ResultsSignificantly better HRQoL scores were found in ex-smokers compared to current smokers. Patients who made an attempt to increase their physical activity level had a better HRQoL compared to those who had not made an attempt. Furthermore dietary changes were associated with HRQoL, with better outcomes in patients who tried to reduce fat and salt intake and increase fish, fruit, and vegetable intake. The intention to change behaviour was not associated with HRQoL.ConclusionsBetter HRQoL scores were found in those coronary patients who adopted a healthier lifestyle. The actual lifestyle changes - smoking cessation, increasing physical activity, and adopting a healthy diet - and not the intention to change are associated with better HRQoL outcomes.