, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 781-787

Diabetes and its impact on health-related quality of life: a life table analysis

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To investigate the health burden of diabetes and determine its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a population with a high prevalence of chronic conditions.


A representative sample of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) was used to estimate prevalence of diabetes and mean health utility index (HUI), a utility-based measure of HRQOL. Diabetes-deleted life expectancy (LE) and health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) were derived to measure HRQOL.


Diabetic individuals comprised 6.8% of the sample and accounted for 14% of total deaths from 2001 to 2005. Life Expectancy at age 15 was 61.3 years for men and 66.7 years for women, of which 53.0 and 57.0 years, respectively, were spent with perfect health (86.4 and 85.5%). Eliminating diabetes would extend both the overall LE and HALE for men by 1.3 and 1.4 years, and women by 2.0 and 1.7 years, respectively. People with diabetes had a significantly lower HRQOL than people without diabetes (mean HUI: 0.78 vs. 0.88, P < 0.01).


The burden of illness from diabetes in NL is considerable. Using cause-eliminated LE and HALE provides a robust approach for assessing HRQOL that may have important implications for diabetes surveillance, prevention, and management strategies.