Comorbidities, mental health issues worsen quality of life i
Children and teens with type 1 diabetes and two or more comorbidities or a mental health condition have a worse health-related quality of life compared with those with no comorbidities, according to a study published in Diabetic Medicine.

This cross-sectional study examined the associations of comorbid conditions on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in 601 youth with type 1 diabetes. Researchers evaluated associations between number of comorbid conditions (0, 1, more than 2) and particular comorbid conditions and youth HRQOL by self-report and parent proxy-report.

Youth with type 1 diabetes, aged 5–18 years, and their parents completed the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales self-report and parent proxy-report, respectively; they also reported youths' comorbid medical and mental health conditions. Separate linear regression models tested the relationship between number of comorbid conditions and specific comorbid conditions with youth-reported and parent proxy-reported HRQOL.

-- Youth with more than 2 comorbid conditions had significantly lower HRQOL by both self- and parent proxy-reports compared with youth with 0 or 1 comorbid condition.

-- Amongst the comorbid conditions, only a mental health comorbidity was associated with lower HRQOL. For youth and parent proxy-reports, both the number of comorbidities (more than 2) and the presence of a mental health comorbidity were significantly associated with lower HRQOL.

Conclusively, health-related quality of life seems to be preserved in youth with type 1 diabetes unless confronted by multiple comorbidities as reported by youth and their parents. These findings highlight the importance of tracking the presence of multiple comorbid conditions, possibly by reviewing problem and medication lists in the medical record, as well as screening for and addressing mental health conditions in routine diabetes care.