Objective: To measure subjective health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with type 1 diabetes and describe the influence of symptoms of diabetes-related long-term complications on HRQoL. Methods: The 15-D health-related quality of life measure (15D) was used to measure HRQoL of a representative sample of Finnish insulin-treated patients expected to have type 1 diabetes. Background data were gathered with a separate questionnaire. A tobit (censored regression) model was constructed to estimate the effects of symptoms of complications on HRQoL and to separate these effects from those of other health problems and aging. Results: The 15D scores declined markedly with increasing age, and the prevalence of symptoms of long-term complications increased. The tobit regression model showed that these symptoms have a significant negative influence on HRQoL. The model explained over 50% of the variation in the 15D scores. Conclusions: High prevalence of symptoms of long-term complications combined with their significant negative influence on HRQoL causes substantial losses in terms of quality of life and utility from both individual and societal perspectives. Thus, the importance of secondary prevention, i.e., prevention of complications by better metabolic control, and also the so-far theoretic possibility to prevent type 1 diabetes itself is emphasized.
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Hahl, J., Hämäläinen, H., Sintonen, H. et al. Health-related quality of life in type 1 diabetes without or with symptoms of long-term complications. Qual Life Res 11, 427–436 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015684100227