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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Predictors of health-related quality of life in type II diabetic patients in Greece

Angelos A Papadopoulos12, Nick Kontodimopoulos1*, Aristidis Frydas13, Emmanuel Ikonomakis1 and Dimitris Niakas1

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Riga Fereou 169 & Tsamadou, 26222 Patras, Greece

2 Second Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Athens University, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens, Greece

3 Plomari Health Center, Lesvos, Greece

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:186  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-186

Published: 30 July 2007

Abstract

Background

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality affecting millions of people worldwide, while placing a noteworthy strain on public health funding. The aim of this study was to assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Greek Type II DM patients and to identify significant predictors of the disease in this patient population.

Methods

The sample (N = 229, 52.8% female, 70.0 years mean age) lived in a rural community of Lesvos, an island in the northeast of the Aegean Archipelagos. The generic SF-36 instrument, administered by trainee physicians, was used to measure HRQOL. Scale scores were compared with non-parametric Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests and multivariate stepwise linear regression analyses were used to investigate the effect of sociodemographic and diabetes-related variables on HRQOL.

Results

The most important predictors of impaired HRQOL were female gender, diabetic complications, non-diabetic comorbidity and years with diabetes. Older age, lower education, being unmarried, obesity, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia were also associated with impaired HRQOL in at least one SF-36 subscale. Multivariate regression analyses produced models explaining significant portions of the variance in SF-36 subscales, especially physical functioning (R2 = 42%), and also showed that diabetes-related indicators were more important disease predictors, compared to sociodemographic variables.

Conclusion

The findings could have implications for health promotion in rural medical practice in Greece. In order to preserve a good HRQOL, it is obviously important to prevent diabetes complications and properly manage concomitant chronic diseases. Furthermore, the gender difference is interesting and requires further elucidation. Modifying screening methods and medical interventions or formulating educational programs for the local population appear to be steps in the correct direction.