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Quality of life in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients prior to and after pancreas and kidney transplantation in relation to organ function

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Improvement of the quality of life in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with severe late complications is one of the main goals of pancreas and/or kidney grafting. To assess the influences of these treatment modalities on the different aspects of the quality of life a cross-sectional study in 157 patients was conducted. They were categorized into patients pre-transplant without dialysis (n=29; Group A), pre-transplant under dialysis (n=44; Group B), post-transplant with pancreas and kidney functioning (n=31; Group C), post-transplant with functioning kidney, but insulin therapy (n=29; Group D), post-transplant under dialysis and insulin therapy again (n=15; Group E) and patients after single pancreas transplantation and rejection, with good renal function, but insulin therapy (n=9; Group F). All patients answered a mailed, self-administered questionnaire (217 questions) consisting of a broad spectrum of rehabilitation criteria. The results indicate a better quality of life in Groups C and D as compared to the other groups. In general the scores are highest in C, but without any significant difference to D. Impressive significant differences between C or D and the other groups were found especially in their satisfaction with physical capacity, leisure-time activities or the overall quality of life. The satisfaction with the latter is highest in C (mean±SEM: 4.0±0.2 on a 1 to 5-rating scale; significantly different from A: 3.1±0.1, B: 2.7±0.2 and E: 2.6±0.3; p<0.01), followed by D (3.8±0.2; significantly different from B and E; p<0.01). Group F shows a mean of 3.1±0.4, which is not significantly different from C. The percentages of patients in each group, who are not working: A: 38 %, B: 64 %, C: 74 %, D: 66 %, E: 87 % and F: 78 % indicate that there is no marked improvement in the vocational situation after successful grafting.


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Piehlmeier, W., Bullinger, M., Nusser, J. et al. Quality of life in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients prior to and after pancreas and kidney transplantation in relation to organ function. Diabetologia 34, S150–S157 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00587644

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Key words

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pancreas transplantation
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation