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Med Care. 2011 Oct;49(10):924-31. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e318216592c.

Health utilities for children and adults with type 1 diabetes.

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Pediatric Endocrinology, Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5456, USA.



We studied health utilities in patients with type 1 diabetes to understand potential differences in health utilities as function of age, type of respondent (self report vs. proxy report), and method of assessment (direct vs. indirect).


We elicited self-reported health utilities for adults (n=213) and children (n=238) with type 1 diabetes, and by parent proxy report (n=223) for overall quality of life [Health Utilities Index (HUI) Mark 3 and experienced time-trade-off (TTO) questions] and hypothetical complication states (TTO questions).


Mean health utilities for overall quality of life (QOL) ranged from 0.81 to 0.91. Children had significantly higher overall QOL compared with adults (0.89 vs. 0.85, P<0.01) by HUI, but had no significant difference in QOL by TTO. There were no significant differences in QOL between child self report and parent proxy report. Utilities were higher for HUI versus TTO for parent proxy report (P<0.01) but not for adult or child self report. Utilities for hypothetical complication states were lower than for current QOL. Values were lower for stroke (0.34 to 0.53), end stage renal disease (0.47 to 0.55), and blindness (0.52 to 0.69) than for amputation (0.73 to 0.82) and angina (0.74 to 0.80). Complication utilities for parent proxy report were higher compared with adult self report for most hypothetical complication states.


Individuals with type 1 diabetes with few complications report a relatively high QOL; however, future end stage complications are rated as having a significant impact on QOL. Differences in utilities by age, self report versus proxy report, and method raise important questions about whose utilities should be used in economic analyses.

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