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Intensification of glucose-lowering therapies does not reduce quality of life

By Colin Kenny, Editor – Diabetes Distilled

Investigators wanted to discover whether the intensification of type 2 diabetes medication influenced health status and quality of life (QoL). They used standardised QoL tools and studied 930 participants in the longitudinal observational Fremantle Diabetes Study that ran over 4 years.Their data show that treatment intensification, including insulin initiation, did not have a negative impact on patient well-being in community-based type 2 diabetes care. They postulated that it was the burden of living with diabetes itself – rather than the treatment modality – that was the primary determinant of health status and QoL.

To discover whether the intensification in type 2 diabetes treatment affects QoL, investigators studied 930 participants in the longitudinal observational Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II. Participants had a mean age of 65.3 years and average diabetes duration of 8 years. Validated data were collected from a baseline assessment and two biennial reviews (4 years of follow-up) between 2008 and 2015. The investigators used validated physical and mental health composite scores, and the average weighted impact score from a concurrent diabetes audit.
 
These real-life data show that treatment intensification, including insulin initiation, does not have an adverse impact on well-being in community-based patients with type 2 diabetes. As insulin use at entry was related to longer diabetes duration, worse glycaemic control and a greater risk of chronic complications, the investigators concluded that the burden of disease rather than treatment modality was the primary determinant of health status and QoL.

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