Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetes Care. 2002 Dec;25(12):2238-43.

Valuing health-related quality of life in diabetes.

Author information

Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.



Cost-utility analyses use information on health utilities to compare medical treatments that have different clinical outcomes and impacts on survival. The purpose of this study was to describe the health utilities associated with diabetes and its treatments, complications, and comorbidities.


We studied 2,048 subjects with type 1 and type 2 diabetes recruited from specialty clinics at a university medical center. We administered a questionnaire to each individual to assess demographic characteristics, type and duration of diabetes, treatments, complications, and comorbidities, and we used the Self-Administered Quality of Well Being index (QWB-SA) to calculate a health utility score. We then created regression models to fit the QWB-SA-derived health utility scores to indicator variables for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and each demographic variable, treatment, and complication. The coefficients were arranged in clinically meaningful ways to develop models to describe penalties from the health utility scores for nonobese diabetic men without additional treatments, complications, or comorbidities.


The utility scores for nonobese diet-controlled men and women with type 2 diabetes and no microvascular, neuropathic, or cardiovascular complications were 0.69 and 0.65, respectively. The utility scores for men and women with type 1 diabetes and no complications were slightly lower (0.67 and 0.64, respectively). Blindness, dialysis, symptomatic neuropathy, foot ulcers, amputation, debilitating stroke, and congestive heart failure were associated with lower utility scores.


Major diabetes complications are associated with worse health-related quality of life. The health utility scores provided should facilitate studies of the health burden of diabetes and the cost-utility of alternative strategies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center