The Effect of Blood Glucose Variability on Quality of Life in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Mihelich, Karen



Purpose: Diabetes effects 9.3 percent of the overall American population. Advancements in therapy provide people with diabetes multiple treatment options in achieving physiologic goals, but diabetes specialists have become more interested in exploring measurements of control and success beyond hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Professional groups are recommending measurements such as patient-reported outcomes along with existing clinical measurements to evaluate the benefit or success of therapeutics and impact on quality of life. The aim of this systematic review was to better understand the relationship between glycemic variability and quality of life in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Methods: CINAHL and PubMed databases were used to search for publications from the last five to seven years. Articles had to be written in English and include adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, quality of life, and physiologic measurements. Key search terms used were glycemic variance, glycemic variability, blood sugar control, blood sugar variability, type 2 diabetes, quality of life, well-being, treatment adherence, self-efficacy, and quantitative.


Results: Twelve articles were included in the review. Three themes were identified: (1) poor blood glucose control and increased variability have a negative impact on quality of life; (2) there was a positive relationship between treatment satisfaction, improved HbA1c, and initiation of basal insulin; and (3) self-monitoring blood glucose testing was found valuable for patients who could then titrate insulin dosages to achieve glycemic control