HRQOL in Diverse Ethnic Groups with Diabetes: Findings from the 2014 BRFSS

  • Kelley Newlin Lew
  • Julie Wagner
  • Omar Braizat



The study’s objective is to examine differences in mental and physical health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic adults with diabetes.


A secondary analysis of 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data was conducted. A total of 26 states participated in the 2014 BRFSS core and optional diabetes models (n = 17,923). HRQOL was measured by the number of mentally and physically unhealthy days during the past month, respectively. A series of regression models were developed to assess differences in HRQOL without and with inclusion of demographic (age, marital status, income, gender, and education) and diabetes-related (depression, sleep time, insulin use, complications, age of diabetes diagnosis, BMI, smoking, and exercise) factors.


In the fully adjusted models (inclusion of demographic and diabetes-related factors), non-Hispanic Whites had more mentally (β = 0.88, p = 0.03) and physically (β = 1.35, p = 0.01) unhealthy days per month compared to Hispanics. Non-Hispanic Blacks (β = 1.42, p < 0.01) also had more mentally unhealthy days per month in relation to Hispanics when adjusting for demographic and diabetes-related factors. Depression emerged as a potent predictor of mentally (β = 8.60; p < 0.0001) and physically (β = 4.43; p < 0.0001) unhealthy days in the multivariate models.


Non-Hispanic Black and White adults with diabetes may be more vulnerable to poor HRQOL compared to their Hispanic counterparts. Increased, widened application of diabetes interventions targeting depression appears warranted to improve HRQOL outcomes.


Health-related quality of life Diabetes Ethnic minorities 


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2018
corrected publication [May/2018]

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelley Newlin Lew
    • 1
  • Julie Wagner
    • 2
  • Omar Braizat
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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