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08-05-2018 | Uitgave 8/2018

Quality of Life Research 8/2018

Diabetic retinopathy and health-related quality of life among Chinese with known type 2 diabetes mellitus

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2018
Chen-Wei Pan, Shan Wang, Pei Wang, Cai-Lian Xu, E. Song



We aim to describe the impact of diabetic retinopathy (DR) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among community-dwelling Chinese adults who had been previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


A community-based survey including 913 patients with T2DM was conducted in Suzhou, China. Retinopathy lesions were graded according to the Airlie House classification system of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study. The HRQOL was measured by the Chinese version of the EuroQol Group’s five-level EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). A Gamma distribution with log link was incorporated into linear regression models to assess the associations between DR and EQ-5D-5L health utility score.


The mean EQ-5D-5L index scores were 0.971 ± 0.082 among individuals with unilateral DR and 0.970 ± 0.145 among those with bilateral DR, which were lower compared with those without DR (0.986 ± 0.045, P = 0.02). In multivariate analysis adjusting for confounders, people with bilateral DR reported lower the EQ-5D index scores compared with those without DR. The presence of DR was significantly associated with problems in usual activities (odds ratio [OR] = 0.16, P = 0.02, comparing participants with unilateral vs. no DR; OR = 0.11; P = 0.01, comparing participants with bilateral vs. no DR). No significant variations in EQ-5D-5L index scores as well as different domains of health problems between individuals with unilateral and bilateral DR were observed (P > 0.05).


Chinese T2DM patients with bilateral DR tend to report lower HRQOL scores compared with those without DR, especially in health problems associated with usual activities.

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