Does Future Diabetes Risk Impair Current Quality of Life? A Cross-Sectional Study of Health-Related Quality of Life in Relation to the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC)

PLoS One. 2016 Feb 3;11(2):e0147898. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147898. eCollection 2016.


Objectives: Present study examines the relationship between the estimated risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We quantify the association between Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC) and HRQoL, and examine the potential use of FINDRISC as tool to evaluate HRQoL indirectly.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study comprising 707 Finnish people without a diagnosis of T2D between the ages of 51 and 75 years. The risk of developing T2D was assessed using the validated and widely used FINDRISC (range 0-26 points), and quality of life was measured using two preference-based HRQoL instruments (15D and SF-6D) and one health profile instrument (SF-36). Effects of the individual FINDRISC items and demographic and clinical characteristics, such as co-morbidities, on HRQoL were studied using multivariable Tobit regression models.

Results: Low HRQoL was significantly and directly associated with the estimated risk of developing T2D. An approximate 4-5 point change in FINDRISC score was observed to be associated with clinically noticeable changes in the preference-based instrument HRQoL index scores. The association between HRQoL and the risk of developing T2D was also observed for most dimensions of HRQoL in all applied HRQoL instruments. Overall, old age, lack of physical activity, obesity, and history of high blood glucose were the FINDRISC factors most prominently associated with lower HRQoL.

Conclusions: The findings may help the health care professionals to substantiate the possible improvement in glucose metabolism and HRQoL potentially achieved by lifestyle changes, and better convince people at high risk of T2D to take action towards healthier lifestyle habits. FINDRISC may also provide an accurate proxy for HRQoL, and thus by estimating the risk of T2D with the FINDRISC, information about patients' HRQoL may also be obtained indirectly, when it is not feasible to use HRQoL instruments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk*

Grant support

This study was supported by an individual grant to the corresponding author (SV) from the Finnish Cultural Foundation ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.