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Diabetes distress leads to work, life productivity losses

18 May 2020

Diabetes distress appears to have a negative effect on work and life productivity, particularly in patients with polypharmacy and/or on insulin and with coexisting osteoarthritis or chronic kidney disease, a study has found.

The analysis included 259 patients (mean age, 61.0 years; 61.0 percent male) with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM; mean duration, 12.9 years; mean HbA1c, 8.1 percent) and polypharmacy. Most of the patients had comorbid hyperlipidaemia (98.1 percent) and hypertension (86.2 percent).

Researchers evaluated diabetes distress using the Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID) and productivity using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment General Health. The proportion of patients with clinically severe diabetes distress (PAID score ≥40) was 7.7 percent, while the proportion of those with work and life productivity loss were 45.0 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively.

Diabetes distress positively correlated with work productivity loss (p=0.001) and life productivity loss (p<0.001).

In multiple regression models, work impairment was significantly associated with diabetes distress (p=0.003), the total number of chronic medications (p=0.012), insulin therapy (p=0.027) and the presence of chronic kidney disease (p=0.038). On the other hand, risk factors for activity impairment included diabetes distress (p=0.001) and comorbid osteoarthritis (p=0.039).

The findings highlight the importance of screening T2DM patients for diabetes distress and its major problem areas to prevent productivity losses, especially in patients with polypharmacy and insulin users, and those with coexisting chronic conditions, the researchers said.

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