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Predictors of quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes

Authors Ruth Kalda, Anneli Rätsep, Margus Lember

Published 20 February 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 21—26

Ruth Kalda1, Anneli Rätsep1, Margus Lember2

1Department of Family Medicine, University of Tartu, 2Department of Internal Medicine,  University of Tartu

Background: Researchers have shown that patients with type 2 diabetes have a lower quality of life than the general population and also somewhat lower than patients with other chronic diseases. Thus one of the most important outcomes of treatment is optimizing the quality of life of the patient. This study examines the factors that most strongly influence the quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: 200 patients with type 2 diabetes were studied in Estonia in 2004–2005. A patient blood sample, taken during a visit to the family doctor, was collected. The family doctor also provided data on each patient’s body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and medications for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Patients completed a SF-36 during a doctor visit, and also a special questionnaire which we provided to study their awareness about diabetes type 2.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 64.7 (±11.1) years and the mean duration of the diabetes was 7.5 (±1.8) years. Logistic regression analysis showed that quality of life was most significantly affected by awareness of the complications and risk-factors of diabetes, and by the age, duration of the disease, and BMI of the patient. Patients who were less aware had a significantly higher quality of life score (p < 0.001 in all cases). The age and BMI of the patients as well as the duration of the diabetes all lowered the score of the quality of life.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the main challenges for physicians in management of diabetes type 2 are modifying patient BMI and patient awareness.

Keywords: diabetes type 2, quality of life, SF-36, awareness of patients, body mass index