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Am J Epidemiol. 2004 Feb 15;159(4):364-72.

Self-rated health among young people with type 1 diabetes in relation to risk factors in a longitudinal study.

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Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI, USA.


Care for type 1 diabetes mellitus should both alleviate the physical complications of the disease and improve overall quality of life. The Wisconsin Diabetes Registry, comprising a population-based cohort that is followed longitudinally from diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, provided the authors with a unique opportunity to examine quality of life in children, adolescents, and young adults with type 1 diabetes and its relation to both sociodemographic and clinical risk factors. The authors analyzed data from 1987-2002 with a mean of 10.2 years' duration of diabetes (n = 569). They used ordinal-scaled self-rated global health as a measure of quality of life. In this paper, they propose a random-effects model for drawing inferences on individuals regarding the relation of longitudinally measured quality of life to multiple risk factors. Results showed that male gender, higher parental socioeconomic level, younger age at diabetes diagnosis, shorter diabetes duration, no hospitalization in the preceding 6 months, lower glycosylated hemoglobin level, and questionnaire responses by a person other than the subject were independently associated with better reported health. The authors found that individuals varied in their reported health even after adjustment for all identified risk factors. This could imply either that there is variability in perception even with the same health status or that there are independent unmeasured risk factors for poor health in persons with type 1 diabetes.

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