Open Access Research article

Diabetes duration and health-related quality of life in individuals with onset of diabetes in the age group 15—34 years – a Swedish population-based study using EQ-5D

Vibeke Sparring1*, Lennarth Nyström2, Rolf Wahlström134, Pia Maria Jonsson15, Jan Östman6 and Kristina Burström178

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Management Centre, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavägen 18 A, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden

2 Epidemiology and Global Health, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, SE-90185 Umeå, Sweden

3 Division of Global Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavägen 18 A, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden

4 Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 564 Uppsala, SE-75122, Sweden

5 National Institute of Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland

6 Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, SE-14186 Huddinge, Sweden

7 Division of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavägen 18 A, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden

8 Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Tomtebodavägen 18 A, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:377  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-377

Published: 22 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Diabetes with onset in younger ages affects both length of life and health status due to debilitating and life-threatening long-term complications. In addition, episodes and fear of hypoglycaemia and of long-term consequences may have a substantial impact on health status. This study aims to describe and analyse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in individuals with onset of diabetes at the age of 15—34 years and with a disease duration of 1, 8, 15 and 24 years compared with control individuals matched for age, sex and county of residence.

Methods

Cross-sectional study of 839 individuals with diabetes and 1564 control individuals. Data on socioeconomic status and HRQoL using EQ-5D were collected by a postal questionnaire. Insulin treatment was self-reported by 94% of the patients, the majority most likely being type 1.

Results

Individuals with diabetes reported lower HRQoL, with a significantly lower mean EQ VAS score in all cohorts of disease duration compared with control individuals for both men and women, and with a significantly lower EQ-5Dindex for women, but not for men, 15 years (0.76, p = 0.022) and 24 years (0.77, p = 0.016) after diagnosis compared with corresponding control individuals. Newly diagnosed individuals with diabetes reported significantly more problems compared with the control individuals in the dimension usual activities (women: 13.2% vs. 4.0%, p = 0.048; men: 11.4% vs. 4.1%, p = 0.033). In the other dimensions, differences between individuals with diabetes and control individuals were found 15 and 24 years after diagnosis: for women in the dimensions mobility, self-care, usual activities and pain/discomfort and for men in the dimension mobility. Multivariable regression analysis showed that diabetes duration, being a woman, having a lower education and not being married or cohabiting had a negative impact on HRQoL.

Conclusions

Our study confirms the negative impact of diabetes on HRQoL and that the difference to control individuals increased by disease duration for women with diabetes. The small difference one year after diagnosis could imply a good management of diabetes care and a relatively quick adaptation. Our results also indicate that gender differences still exist in Sweden, despite modern diabetes treatment and management in Sweden.

Keywords:
Diabetes mellitus; Disease duration; EQ-5D; Health-related quality of life; Sweden