Background: To describe the relationship between glycaemic control, hyperglycaemic symptoms and quality of life (HRQOL) in type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: In a shared-care diabetes project HRQOL was
assessed. A total of 1664 patients with type 2 diabetes were identified in 32 primary healthcare practices. Of these patients, 1149 were included. HRQOL was measured using a generic questionnaire (Rand-36), completed by 1006 of the 1149 participants.
Results: The number of hyperglycaemic symptoms was
higher in women (1.88) compared with men (1.64), without differences in mean haemoglobin A<sub>1c</sub> (HbA<sub>1c</sub>) (7.5%).
Univariate analyses showed negative relationships between all dimensions of the Rand-36 and hyperglycaemic symptoms (p<0.001), but between only one dimension and HbA<sub>1c</sub> (p=0.005). Multivariate analyses showed no association between any of the dimensions of the Rand-36 and HbA<sub>1c</sub>, but the relationship between hyperglycaemic symptoms persisted in all dimensions (p<0.001). Notwithstanding these results, the presence of hyperglycaemic symptoms was related to higher HbA<sub>1c</sub>.
Conclusion: In type 2 diabetic patients, as assessed by a
generic questionnaire, there is an evident relationship
between hyperglycaemic symptoms and HRQOL and not
between HbA<sub>1c</sub> and HRQOL. Subjective hyperglycaemic symptoms are, independent of HbA<sub>1c</sub>, important for HRQOL in type 2 diabetic patients, and should therefore not be neglected in the management of diabetes.