Age, metabolic control and type of insulin regime influences health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Aug;164(8):491-6. doi: 10.1007/s00431-005-1681-4. Epub 2005 May 5.


The effects of illness and treatment of diabetes mellitus extend beyond medical outcomes. We therefore evaluated health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children (aged 8-12 years) and adolescents (aged 13-16 years) with type 1 diabetes to compare their results with healthy peers and to identify HRQOL determinants. A total of 68 children and adolescents from a tertiary care clinic which specialises in the management of diabetes, completed the generic KINDL-R questionnaire. This instrument for children and adolescents has six dimensions and an additional module assessing condition-related HRQOL. Overall, the HRQOL was not different between patients with type 1 diabetes and healthy controls. In some areas, children and adolescents with diabetes reported a better HRQOL compared to healthy peers: adolescents reported better psychological well-being (P < 0.05) and children higher levels of well-being in the school domain (P < 0.05). In general, children reported a better HRQOL (P < 0.05) than adolescents with type 1 diabetes confirming age-related differences in HRQOL in the general population. Lower HbA1c (<8%) and intensified insulin therapy (>3 injections/day) were associated with a better HRQOL in different domains (P < 0.05). The subscale "chronic illness" showed a better HRQOL (P < 0.001) in children and adolescents with diabetes compared to age-matched controls with other chronic conditions.

Conclusion: Children and adolescents from a paediatric department specialising in diabetes management report good health-related quality of life. Younger age, good metabolic control and intensified insulin therapy are associated with a better health-related quality of life. Dimensions of health-related quality of life appear to play different roles at different ages, emphasising the importance of the multidimensional health-related quality of life concept and the value of age-appropriate self-reports.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin