PURPOSE: Aims of this cross-sectional study were to assess health status and care dependency in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic heart failure (CHF) and to identify correlates of an impaired health status. METHODS: The following outcomes were assessed in outpatients with advanced COPD (n = 105) or CHF (n = 80): clinical characteristics; general health status (EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D); Assessment of Quality of Life instrument (AQoL); Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36)); disease-specific health status (St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ)); physical mobility (timed 'Up and Go' test); and care dependency (Care Dependency Scale). RESULTS: Patients with advanced COPD or CHF have an impaired health status and may be confronted with care dependency. Multiple regression analyses have shown that physical and psychological symptoms, care dependency and number of drugs were correlated with impaired health status in advanced COPD or CHF, while demographic and clinical characteristics like age, gender, disease severity and co-morbidities were not correlated. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical care should regularly assess symptom burden and care dependency to identify patients with advanced COPD or CHF at risk for an impaired health status.