Objective: To analyse how type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) and the symptoms of its chronic long-term complications correlate with health status domains in the adult population in Finland.
Methods: A representative sample of patients with type 1 DM was selected randomly from the Finnish drug reimbursement registry. Participants reported symptoms, diagnoses and treatments indicating the presence and time of appearance of long-term complications, and completed the RAND 36 questionnaire. A principal component analysis was performed to compress the eight RAND 36 dimensions into composite domains of health status. The results were validated with split-sample analysis. Regression analyses were used to estimate the effects of age, sex, symptoms of long-term complications and comorbidities on the component T-scores.
Results: Of the 752 (70.8%) responders, 592 fulfilled the criteria of type 1 DM. Of these, 82.6% fully completed the RAND 36 questionnaire. Principal component analysis of our data supports the theory of the 2-factor model of health, as physical and mental health domains were reflected unambiguously by different RAND 36 dimensions. The regression results show that the symptoms of long-term complications correlate more strongly with the physical than the mental domain of health status.
Conclusion: Type 1 DM, and especially the symptoms of its long-term complications, correlate mainly with the physical domain of health, although the mental domain is also affected. The prevalence of long-term complications with type 1 DM is sufficiently high within the Finnish population to substantially influence the health status of people with type 1 DM.