Complications and comorbidities as influencing factors of health outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Background: Complications and comorbidities might increase medical burdens and lead to poor health outcomes among people aged 65 years and older who suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of complications and comorbidities was associated with poor health outcomes among older adults with T2DM. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in an outpatient endocrinology department of a teaching hospital in Taiwan. In total, 577 community-dwelling participants with T2DM aged 65 years and older were recruited. Health outcomes were measured by a body composition analyser, a blood biochemical examination, and structured self-reported questionnaires, including the Mini Nutritional Assessment, Activities of Daily Living, Healthy Diet Behaviour, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and self-reported complications (retinopathies, nephropathies, neuropathies, and foot problems) and comorbidities (hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, heart diseases, and sarcopenia). Results: Participants' average age was 73.94 ± 6.73 years. Participants with complications exhibited significantly decreased levels of self-rated health (β = −0.09) and significantly higher sedentary times (β = 0.13). Participants with complications (β = −0.14) and sarcopenia (β = −0.13) had significantly decreased levels of activities of daily living. Participants with complications (β = −0.06) and hyperlipidaemia (β = −0.19) had significantly decreased muscle strength. Participants with complications (odds ratio (OR [95% confidence interval]): 0.46 [0.29, 0.72]) and hypertension (OR: 0.64 [0.42, 0.99]) had significantly lower odds of falling in the past year. Conclusions: Complications and comorbidities are important factors affecting health outcomes among older adults with T2DM. Complications and hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, and sarcopenia might lead to poor subjective and objective health outcomes. This study makes suggestions for policymakers and clinical health professionals as to the importance of monitoring and preventing complications and comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Comorbidity
  • Complication
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Older adult
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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