BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is considered an important outcome measure in chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is known to be associated with impaired HRQoL. However, few studies have examined HRQoL in individuals at high risk of CVD. METHODS: Using the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2012, we analyzed data from 10,307 adults aged > or =30 years. The study subjects were stratified into 3 groups on the basis of their Framingham risk score-a 10-year estimate of CVD risk: <10.0% (low risk), 10.0%-19.9% (moderate risk), and > or =20.0% (high risk). The EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) was used to evaluate HRQoL. RESULTS: A significantly higher proportion of high-risk subjects than low-risk participants had impaired HRQoL (defined as the lowest quartile of the EQ-5D index); this held true even after adjustment for confounding factors in multivariable logistic regression analysis (men: odds ratio [OR], 1.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-2.11; women: OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.02-2.08). In terms of the 5 EQ-5D dimensions, a 10-year CVD risk > or =20.0% was significantly associated with self-reported problems of mobility in men (OR, 3.15; 95% CI, 2.02-4.90), and of mobility (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.09-2.24), self-care (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.09-4.22), and usual activity problems (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.17-2.78) in women. CONCLUSION: A high CVD risk is associated with impaired HRQoL. After adjustment for demographic and clinical factors, a 10-year CVD risk > or =20.0% is an independent predictor of impaired HRQoL in the general population; in particular, of mobility problems in men, and of mobility, self-care, and usual activity problems in women.