The impact of a diabetes diagnosis on health and well‐being: Findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Camilla Böhme Kristensen, Joseph Chilcot, Sarah E. Jackson, Andrew Steptoe, Ruth. A Hackett*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Poorer health and well-being are associated with diabetes risk. However, little is known about the trajectory of health and well-being from before to after diabetes diagnosis. We compared depressive symptoms, quality of life, self-rated health, and loneliness at three time points (prediagnosis, diagnosis, 2–4 years post diagnosis) in individuals who developed diabetes and a comparison group. Methods: Health and well-being measures were self-reported by 3474 participants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Repeated measures analysis of variance and generalized estimating equations were used to investigate differences by group, time, and group-by-time interactions. Results: A total of 473 (13.6%) participants developed diabetes. The diabetes group reported greater depressive symptoms (W2(1) = 20.67, p <.001) and lower quality of life (F = 1, 2535 = 10.30, p =.001) and were more likely to rate their health as fair/poor (W2(1) = 67.11, p <.001) across time points, adjusting for age, sex, and wealth. They also reported greater loneliness (F = 1, 2693 = 9.70, p =.002) in unadjusted analyses. However, this was attenuated to the null in adjusted analyses. The group-by-time interaction was significant for quality of life (F = 1.97, 5003.58 = 5.60, p =.004) and self-rated health (W2(2) = 11.69, p =.003), with a greater decline in these measures over time in the diabetes group in adjusted analyses. Conclusion: People who received a diabetes diagnosis had greater depressive symptoms, lower quality of life, and poorer self-rated health than those who did not develop diabetes. Quality of life and self-rated health deteriorated more rapidly following a diagnosis. Screening for these factors around the time of diagnosis could allow for interventions to improve the health and well-being of those with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13518
JournalJournal of Diabetes
Issue number7
Early online date19 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2024


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