Fatigue and related factors in people with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Educ. May-Jun 2013;39(3):320-6. doi: 10.1177/0145721713479144. Epub 2013 Mar 8.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the presence and severity of fatigue in people with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: The Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS), and Visual Analog Fatigue Scale (VAFS) were administered by anonymous survey of 37 individuals with and 33 individuals without diabetes to assess the presence of fatigue. Data on age, gender, weight, height, year of diagnosis, and number/type of complications were also collected. Nonparametric tests tested for differences in fatigue measures between the groups, and distribution characteristics of the FAS, FSS, and VAFS scores were examined. Spearman rank correlation coefficients examined the relationships between the variables.

Results: People with diabetes scored higher on all 3 fatigue assessment scales as compared to controls (FAS: 25.11 vs 19.94, P = .001; FSS: 4.30 vs 2.59, P = .000; VAFS: 4.64 vs 1.75, P = .000). Data were normally distributed for FSS in the group with diabetes and the group without diabetes, and scores of FAS, FSS, and VAFS showed no ceiling effects. A positive correlation was noted between fatigue measures and number of complications (r = .482; P = .003).

Conclusions: Higher levels of fatigue were noted in people with type 2 diabetes as compared to healthy age-matched control; however, the cause and impact of these changes remain unclear. FSS is a recommended tool for measuring fatigue in this population. Further studies are needed to explore the contributing factors to fatigue in those with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / blood
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / blood
  • Diabetes Complications / complications*
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / blood
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kansas / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polypharmacy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Analog Scale