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Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug;34(8):1749-53. doi: 10.2337/dc10-2424. Epub 2011 Jun 2.

Correlates of quality of life in older adults with diabetes: the diabetes & aging study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago,IL, USA. nlaiteer@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate associations between health-related quality of life (HRQL) and geriatric syndromes, diabetes complications, and hypoglycemia in older adults with diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

A race-stratified random sample of 6,317 adults with type 2 or type 1 diabetes, aged 60 to 75 years, enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, who completed a survey that included a HRQL instrument based on the Short Form 8-item health survey. Administrative records were used to ascertain diagnoses of geriatric syndromes, diabetes complications, and hypoglycemia. Associations were estimated between HRQL and exposures in exposure-specific and combined exposure models (any syndrome, any complication, or hypoglycemia). Conservatively, differences of ≥3 points were considered the minimally important difference in HRQL scores.

RESULTS:

HRQL was lower with nearly all exposures of interest. The lowest physical HRQL was associated with amputation. In combined exposure models, geriatric syndromes (-5.3 [95% CI -5.8 to -4.8], P < 0.001) and diabetes complications (-3.5 [-4.0 to -2.9], P < 0.001) were associated with lower physical HRQL. The lowest mental HRQL was associated with depression, underweight (BMI <18 kg/m(2)), amputation, and hypoglycemia. In combined exposure models, only hypoglycemia was associated with lower mental HRQL (-4.0 [-7.0 to -1.1], P = 0.008).

CONCLUSIONS:

Geriatric syndromes and hypoglycemia are associated with lower HRQL to a comparable degree as diabetes complications. Addressing geriatric syndromes and avoiding hypoglycemia should be given as high a priority as preventing diabetes complications in older adults with diabetes.

PMID:
21636795
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3142040
Free PMC Article
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