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Health-related quality of life and glycaemic control among adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes - a nationwide cross-sectional study

Journal article
Authors Maria Svedbo Engström
J. Leksell
U. B. Johansson
S. Borg
B. Palaszewski
S. Franzen
Soffia Gudbjörnsdottir
Katarina Eeg-Olofsson
Published in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
Volume 17
Issue 1
ISSN 1477-7525
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Keywords Diabetes mellitus, type 1, Diabetes mellitus, type 2, Health-related quality of life, SF-36, Cross-, cardiovascular-disease, sf-36, mortality, people, Health Care Sciences & Services
Subject categories Endocrinology and Diabetes


Background Health-related quality of life and glycaemic control are some of the central outcomes in clinical diabetes care and research. The purpose of this study was to describe the health-related quality of life and assess its association with glycaemic control in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in a nationwide setting. Methods In this cross-sectional survey, people with type 1 (n = 2479) and type 2 diabetes (n = 2469) were selected at random without replacement from the Swedish National Diabetes Register. Eligibility criteria were being aged 18-80 years with at least one registered test of glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) the last 12 months. The generic 36-item Short Form version 2 (SF-36v2) was answered by 1373 (55.4%) people with type 1 diabetes and 1353 (54.8%) with type 2 diabetes. Results Correlation analyses showed weak correlations between scores on the SF-36v2 and glycaemic control for both diabetes types. After the participants were divided into three groups based on their levels of HbA(1c), multivariate regression analyses adjusted for demographics, other risk factors and diabetes complications showed that among participants with type 1 diabetes, the high-risk group (>= 70 mmol/mol/8.6%) had statistically significantly lower means in five out of eight domains of the SF-36v2 and the mental component summary measure, as compared with the well-controlled group (< 52 mmol/mol/6.9%). Among the participants with type 2 diabetes, the high-risk group had the lowest statistically significantly means in seven domains and both summary measures. Conclusions Among people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, adults with high-risk HbA(1c) levels have lower levels of health-related quality of life in most but not all domains of the SF-36v2. This finding was not explained by demographics, other risk factors, or diabetes complications. The weak individual-level correlations between HRQOL scores and levels of glycaemic control argues for the need to not focus exclusively on either HbA(1c) levels or HRQOL scores but rather on both because both are important parts of a complex, life-long, challenging condition.

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