Type 1 diabetes, quality of life, occupational status and education level - A comparative population-based study

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Nov;121:62-68. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2016.08.021. Epub 2016 Sep 8.


Aim: Type 1 diabetes requires extensive self-management to avoid complications and may have negative effects on the everyday life of people with the disease. The aim of this study was to compare adults with type 1 diabetes to the general population in terms of health-related quality of life, occupational status (level of employment, working hours and sick leave) and education level.

Methods: 2415 adults (aged 18-98years) with type 1 diabetes were compared to 48,511 adults (aged 18-103years) from the general population. Data were obtained from two cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2010 and 2011 of adults living or treated in the Capital Region in Denmark. Differences between adults with type 1 diabetes and the general population were standardised for age and sex and analyzed using linear probability models and negative binomial regression. Differences were further analyzed in subgroups.

Results: Compared to the general population, adults with type 1 diabetes experienced lower health-related quality of life, were more frequently unemployed, had more sick leave per year and were slightly better educated. Differences in health-related quality of life and employment increased with age and were larger among women, as compared to men. No significant differences were found with regard to working hours.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that type 1 diabetes is associated with lower health-related quality of life, higher unemployment and additional sick leave. The negative association with type 1 diabetes is more pronounced in women and older adults.

Keywords: Education level; Health-related quality of life; Occupational status; Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Denmark
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Educational Status*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sick Leave
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult