Interventions that improve HbA1c levels do not necessarily improve health-related quality of life (QoL). This issue may be particularly relevant in asymptomatic diabetes patients detected earlier in the course of the disease.Methods
HbA1c, diabetes-specific QoL (ADDQoL) and health status were measured in 510 screen-detected diabetes patients from the ADDITION-Cambridge trial at 1 and 5 years post diagnosis. Multivariable logistic/linear regression was used to quantify the longitudinal association between change in HbA1c from 1 to 5 years and ADDQoL and health status at 5 years, adjusting for age, sex, education and trial group; alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, plasma vitamin C, HbA1c, ADDQoL or health status at 1 year, and glucose-lowering medication at 5 years.Results
From 1 to 5 years, median HbA1c interquartile range increased from 6.3% (5.9–6.8) to 6.8% (6.4–7.4); the median ADDQoL score and mean health status physical health summary score decreased from -0.4 (-1 to -0.08) to -0.5 (-1.08 to -0.09) (suggesting an adverse impact of diabetes on QoL) and by -0.79 (8.94) points, respectively. Increases in HbA1c were independently associated with reporting a negative impact of diabetes on QoL (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.85) but not with the health status summary scores.Conclusions
Increases in HbA1c from 1 to 5 years post-diagnosis were independently associated with increased odds of reporting a negative impact of diabetes on QoL. While our results suggest that efforts to reduce HbA1c do not adversely affect health-related QoL, large numbers of participants still report a negative impact of diabetes on their QoL 5 years post-diagnosis. © 2014 The Authors. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.