(HealthDay News) – The combination of type 2 diabetes and impaired health-related functioning (HRF) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published online March 23 in Diabetes Care.

Emily D. Williams, PhD, of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from 11,247 adults (aged ≥25 years) from the Australian Diabetes Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study. Diabetes status was defined using the World Health Organization criteria at baseline (1999–2000), and HRF was assessed using the Short Form-36 questionnaire.

After 7.4 years of follow-up, the researchers found that 57 individuals with diabetes and 105 without diabetes had died from CVD. HRF measures were significant predictors of increased CVD mortality in those with and without diabetes. There was a similar CVD mortality risk among those with diabetes or impaired physical health component summary (PCS) alone (diabetes alone: hazard ratio [HR], 1.4; impaired PCS alone: HR, 1.5). After adjustment for multiple covariates, participants with both diabetes and impaired PCS had a much higher CVD mortality (HR, 2.8) compared with those without diabetes and with normal PCS. Results were similar for the mental health component summary.

“This study demonstrates that the combination of diabetes and impaired HRF is associated with substantially higher CVD mortality,” the authors write. “This suggests that, among those with diabetes, impaired HRF is likely to be important in the identification of individuals at increased risk of CVD mortality.”

The AusDiab study was funded by multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)