Good self-management helps to reduce diabetic mortality

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. These findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

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 . HMGU and the DDZ are partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD).

High self-management index – low mortality

340 study participants with type 2 were interviewed with regard to their patient behavior – e.g. 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 Professor 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 than with a low self-management index. This association exists independent of other factors that can influence , such as age, sex, comorbidities or medication.

Active participation of the patient in the treatment is important

"The results show that in addition to physician delivered 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.

Diabetes affects nearly ten percent of the population in Germany. The aim of Helmholtz Zentrum München is to develop new approaches to diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common diseases.

More information: Laxy, M. et al. (2014), "The Association Between Patient-Reported Self-Management Behavior, Intermediate Clinical Outcomes, and Mortality in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: Results From the KORA-A Study," Diabetes Care, DOI: 10.2337/dc13-2533

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