Impact of Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Diabetes Mellitus on Health-Related Quality of Life

Talley, Nicholas J.; Young, Lisa; Bytzer, Peter; Hammer, Johann; Leemon, Melanie; Jones, Michael; Horowitz, Michael
January 2001
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Jan2001, Vol. 96 Issue 1, p71
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVES: Morbidity from GI symptoms in diabetes is considered to be high, but no studies have quantified the impact of GI symptoms in diabetes on health-related quality of life. We hypothesized that diabetics reporting increased GI symptoms would experience more impaired quality of life. METHODS: Subjects from the community with diabetes (n = 892) and outpatients with diabetes (n = 209) were recruited for this study. Subjects were divided into type 1 (diabetes diagnosed at age <30 yr and requiring insulin) and type 2. A validated questionnaire measuring GI symptoms and diabetes status and the Short Form-36 were completed. The results were compared with Australian normal data. GI symptom groups measured were frequent abdominal pain, bowel-related abdominal pain, reflux, dyspepsia, constipation, diarrhea, and fecal incontinence. RESULTS: There was a clinically significant decrease in quality-of-life scores in diabetics compared with population norms across all subscales. The impact on quality of life in diabetes was predominantly observed in type 2 diabetics. The quality-of-life scores in all subscales decreased markedly with increasing numbers of distinct GI symptom groups, and this was similar in community and outpatient diabetics. For all the Short Form-36 subscales. GI symptom groups were significantly (all p < 0.0001) associated with poorer quality of life in diabetes, independent of age, gender, smoking, alcohol use, and type of diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: GI symptoms impact negatively on health-related quality of life in diabetes mellitus.


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