Health-related Quality of Life--Using the 15D Instrument--Of Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Since Childhood. Population-based Oulu Cohort Study of Diabetic Retinopathy

Acta Ophthalmol. 2014 May;92(3):205-8. doi: 10.1111/aos.12122. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) since childhood using the 15D instrument. The possible impact of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) on the HRQoL was focused on.

Methods: During the years 1989-1990, the prevalence of DR was evaluated from ocular fundus photographs of a population-based cohort of children with T1D living in the Northern Osthrobothnia Hospital District, Finland. These 216 individuals were contacted 18 years later and invited for assessment of the 15D HRQoL as well as current stage of DR. The results were compared with age- and gender-standardized Finnish general population.

Results: The 15D data were obtained from 123 patients aged 29±3 years with a duration of diabetes of 23±4 years. The mean 15D score was similar in the patients with T1D and the general population [0.954±0.062 versus 0.964±0.052, respectively (p=0.085)]. However, the subgroup of patients with PDR (N=38) had a statistically significantly lower mean 15D score than those subjects with nonproliferative or no DR [0.931±0.086 versus 0.965±0.044, respectively (p=0.026)].

Conclusion: Young adults with T1D since childhood had 15D HRQoL score equal to that of age- and gender-standardized general population as long as no more severe than nonproliferative DR was present. Presence of PDR, not T1D of long duration per se, significantly impaired the 15D score.

Keywords: 15D health-related quality of life; diabetic retinopathy; population-based; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult