Background: The aim of this study was to describe how diabetes complications influence the health-related quality of life of individuals with diabetes using the individual EQ-5D dimensions and the EQ-5D index.
Methods: We mailed a questionnaire to 1,000 individuals with diabetes type 1 and 2 in Norway. The questionnaire had questions about socio-demographic characteristics, use of health care, diabetes complications and finally the EQ-5D descriptive system. Logistic regressions were used to explore determinants of responses in the EQ-5D dimensions, and robust linear regression was used to explore determinants of the EQ-5D index.
Results: In multivariate analyses the strongest determinants of reduced MOBILITY were neuropathy and ischemic heart disease. In the ANXIETY/DEPRESSION dimension of the EQ-5D, "fear of hypoglycaemia" was a strong determinant. For those without complications, the EQ-5D index was 0.90 (type 1 diabetes) and 0.85 (type 2 diabetes). For those with complications, the EQ-5D index was 0.68 (type 1 diabetes) and 0.73 (type 2 diabetes). In the linear regression the factors with the greatest negative impact on the EQ-5D index were ischemic heart disease (type 1 diabetes), stroke (both diabetes types), neuropathy (both diabetes types), and fear of hypoglycaemia (type 2 diabetes).
Conclusions: The EQ-5D dimensions and the EQ-5D seem capable of capturing the consequences of diabetes-related complications, and such complications may have substantial impact on several dimensions of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The strongest determinants of reduced HRQoL in people with diabetes were ischemic heart disease, stroke and neuropathy.