2014 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 259-266
Background: Very few studies have investigated the association between diabetes and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older adults, independent of chronic conditions and geriatric syndromes.
Methods: We conducted a self-administered questionnaire survey and structured interviews with 3946 people aged 65 years or older to obtain medical histories of diabetes, chronic conditions, and geriatric syndromes. Blood tests were performed to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and plasma glucose levels. HRQOL was evaluated using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36), and multiple logistic regression analysis was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios and 95% CIs for low HRQOL.
Results: A total of 3521 participants had not received a physician diagnosis of diabetes. Of these, 2345 participants with an HbA1c less than 5.7% were defined as the referent group. As compared with the referent group, 1029 participants with an HbA1c of at least 5.7% but less than 6.5% showed no significant decrease in QOL on the SF-36 physical, mental, and role component summaries, after adjustment for chronic conditions, geriatric syndromes, and other potential confounders. However, 572 patients who had received a physician diagnosis of diabetes and/or had an HbA1c of 6.5% or higher had a significantly higher adjusted odds ratio (1.48; 95% CI, 1.18–1.84) for the low physical component summary. No significant differences in relation to glycemic control, treatment regimen, or diabetes duration were found in any of the 3 component summaries among the 425 participants who were undergoing diabetes treatment.
Conclusions: Older Japanese adults with diabetes had decreased physical QOL, independent of chronic conditions and geriatric syndromes.