Our objective was to characterize diabetes-specific health-related quality of life (D-HRQOL) in a global sample of youth and young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to identify the main factors associated with quality of life.
The TEENs study was an international, cross-sectional study of youth, 8–25 years of age, with T1D. Participants (N = 5,887) were seen in clinical sites in 20 countries across 5 continents enrolled for 3 predetermined age groups: 8–12, 13–18, and 19–25 years of age. To assess D-HRQOL, participants completed the PedsQL Diabetes Module 3.0 and were interviewed about family-related factors. Specifics about treatment regimen and self-management behaviors were collected from medical records.
Across all age groups, females reported significantly lower D-HRQOL than did males. The 19–25-year age group reported the lowest D-HRQOL. Multivariate linear regression analyses revealed that D-HRQOL was significantly related to HbA1c; the lower the HbA1c, the better the D-HRQOL. Three diabetes-management behaviors were significantly related to better D-HRQOL: advanced methods used to measure food intake; more frequent daily blood glucose monitoring; and more days per week that youth had ≥30 min of physical activity.
In all three age groups, the lower the HbA1c, the better the D-HRQOL, underscoring the strong association between better D-HRQOL and optimal glycemic control in a global sample of youth and young adults. Three diabetes-management behaviors were also related to optimal glycemic control, which represent potentially modifiable factors for clinical interventions to improve D-HRQOL as well as glycemic control.