Aim: To explore the ongoing impact of arthritis on older community-dwelling women over 9 years of Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health data. Methods: National longitudinal surveys (1996–2005) were conducted with a random sample of 12432 Australian women, aged 70–75 years in 1996. Self-report of doctor diagnosis of arthritis was the factor of interest. The main outcome measure was SF-36 health-related quality of life. Results: A total of 7088 women completed the 2005 survey (58% of original cohort): 63% of women aged 77–85 years in 2005 reported doctor diagnosis of arthritis. Women with arthritis were more likely to report comorbid conditions, have poorer health and score as depressed and anxious. Arthritis was associated with decreasing scores for physical function, pain and social function over time. Conclusion: Arthritis was associated with an increasing negative impact on health and quality of life for older women over time.
Australasian Journal on Ageing Vol. 29, Issue 4, p. 155-160