The goal of this research was to quantify therelationships between patient survival and a set of explanatory variables in a randomly selected sample of community-based patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). The sample included 343 patients with NIDDM initially entered into the study in 1981–1982 and reexamined in 1985–1986. Mortality data were collected on reexamination in 1985 and updated from death-certificate data through 1 January 1986. The data collected from the patients included demographic and clinical variables, psychosocial variables related to diabetes, measures of physiologic control, hospitalization, and mortality. The Cox proportionalhazards model was used to compute a hazard rate for each individual and to determine risk covariates. The results indicated that the variables most associated with the risk of mortality were patient age, social impact of diabetes, renal function, complexity of diet regimen, and history of smoking. Two of these variables (social impact and complexity of diet regimen) were obtained from the Diabetes Educational Profile completed by all patients on entry to the study. The five predictor variables were more closely related to mortality than diabetes control as measured by HbA1, previous hospital admissions, previous heart attacks, and other physiologic measures frequently used as outcome measures. The only physiologic predictor was renal function.

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