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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Joint predictability of health related quality of life and leisure time physical activity on mortality risk in people with diabetes

Chia-Lin Li12, Hsing-Yi Chang3*, Chih-Cheng Hsu3, Jui-fen Rachel Lu12 and Hsin-Ling Fang3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Care Management, College of Management, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan 333, Taiwan

2 Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan 333, Taiwan

3 Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Service Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, #35, Keyan Road, A3223, Zhunan town, Maoli 350, Taiwan

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:67  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-67

Published: 24 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Reduced health related quality of life (HRQOL) has been associated with increased mortality in individuals with diabetes. In contrast, increased leisure time physical activity (LTPA) has been associated with reduced mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the combined relationship of HRQOL and LTPA on mortality and whether high levels of LTPA are associated with reduced risk of mortality in adults with diabetes and inferior HRQOL.

Methods

We analyzed data from a national sample of adults (18 years or older) with self-reported physician-diagnosed diabetes, who participated in the 2001 National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan (N = 797). A total of 701 participants had complete Short Form 36 (SF-36) and LTPA data and were followed from 2002 to 2008. Participants were divided into 3 groups based on their LTPA: (1) a regularly active group who reported 150 or more min/week of moderate-intensity activity; (2) an intermediately active group who reported engaging in LTPA but did not meet the criterion for the “regular” category; and (3) an inactive group who reported no LTPA. The physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores were dichotomised at the median (high vs. low) (PCS = 45.11; MCS = 47.91). Cox proportional-hazards models were used to investigate associations between baseline characteristics and mortality.

Results

After 4,570 person-years of follow-up, 121 deaths were recorded and the crude mortality rate was 26.5 per 1,000 person-years. Both PCS scores and LTPA were significant predictors of mortality, whereas no significant relationship was observed between MCS and mortality. After adjustment for other factors, participants with low PCS who reported no LTPA had a hazard ratio (HR) for mortality of 4.49 (95% CI = [2.15-9.36]). However, participants with low PCS who were active (including intermediate and regular LTPA) had a HR for mortality of 1.36 (95% CI = [0.64-2.92]).

Conclusions

Our results show a significantly increased mortality risk of diabetes associated with reduced HRQOL in individuals who report no LTPA. Engaging in LTPA may be associated with improved survival in participants with diabetes with poor self-rated physical health status.

Keywords:
Diabetes; Health related quality of life; Leisure time physical activity; Mortality; Taiwan