Introduction: Hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes presents deleterious effects on quality of life (QoL). We aimed to utilize electronically patient-reported data to identify the correlation of patients’ behaviors, intended to prevent and manage hypoglycemia, with QoL scores.
Methods: In a retrospective single center cohort study, we identified adults with type 1 or 2 DM seen between January 2017 and March 2018 who completed two questionnaires. First, the ADA Low Blood Sugar Questionnaire which assessed the incidence of self-reported hypoglycemia and behaviors intended to prevent and manage hypoglycemia. Second, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Survey which evaluated self-reported physical and mental QoL scores. Associations between hypoglycemic behaviors and QoL scores were determined using Spearman correlations.
Results: We identified 538 subjects, with a mean (±SD) age of 53.1±15.3 years, a mean household income of $51,400 ±17,9384, 55% were female, and 66% were on insulin therapy. Patients with fewer severe hypoglycemic episodes had significantly better physical and mental QoL scores (p<0.001, for both). Subjects who carried glucagon emergency kits had significantly higher physical QoL scores (p=0.001), while having a relative able to administer glucagon was associated with significantly higher physical and mental QoL scores (p=0.001 and p=0.003). Carrying snacks or glucose tablets and monitoring glucose before driving were associated with higher physical QoL scores (p<0.001 and p=0.010).
Conclusion: Significant positive correlations were found between patients’ practices intended to reduce and treat hypoglycemia and QoL scores. People with diabetes and low QoL scores require special treatment considerations.
K.F. Ali: None. L. Lawrence: None. L.A. Buehler: None. R.R. Gambino: None. M. Hamaty: Consultant; Self; Applied Clinical Intelligence, LLC.
Merck & Co., Inc.