Diabetes: Good Self-Management Helps to Reduce Mortality

04/01/2014
Photo: Sugar face

People with type 2 diabetes who report good self-management behavior have a reduced mortality risk; © panther-
media.net/KlausR

People with type 2 diabetes who report good self-management behavior have a reduced mortality risk. This was the result of a population-based study conducted by scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München emphasizing the great importance of patient behavior in the diabetes treatment process.

Scientists of the Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management (IGM) and of the Institute of Epidemiology II (EPI II) at Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), together with colleagues of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf, investigated the association between self-management behavior and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. HMGU and the DDZ are partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD).

340 study participants with type 2 diabetes were interviewed with regard to their patient behavior – for example regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, having a diet plan or performing physical exercise. Based on this data a self-management index was defined. The team led by Prof. Rolf Holle and Michael Laxy correlated the index with the mortality of the participants, who were monitored over a period of 12 years. The analysis showed that patients with good diabetes self-management, that is patients with a high self-management index, had a significantly lower mortality risk than patients with a low self-management index. This association exists independent of other factors that can influence mortality, such as age, sex, comorbidities or medication.

“The results show that in addition to physician delivered treatment according to medical guidelines, the patient’s behavior is also of great significance for the course of the disease and for the success of the treatment process “, said Holle, group leader of the research group Economic Evaluation at the IGM. “Patient-centered services, such as diabetes education, self-management training and information services therefore make a valuable contribution to good patient care and should continue to be expanded.”

The basis of the analyzed data is the KORA*-A study, which is composed of participants of two previous population-based health surveys and of the KORA Myocardial Infarction Registry from the Augsburg area.

MEDICA.de; Quelle: Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Centre for Environmental Health