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Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between ethnicity and health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: The EuroQol EQ-5D measure was administered to 1,978 patients with type 2 diabetes in the UK Asian Diabetes Study (UKADS): 1,486 of south Asian origin (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or other south Asian) and 492 of white European origin. Multivariate regression using ordinary least square (OLS), Tobit, fractional logit and Censored Least Absolutes Deviations estimators was used to estimate the impact of ethnicity on both visual analogue scale (VAS) and utility scores for the EuroQol EQ-5D. Results: Mean EQ-5D VAS and utility scores were lower among south Asians with diabetes compared to the white European population; the unadjusted effect on the mean EQ-5D VAS score was -7.82 (Standard error [SE] = 1.06, p < 0.01) and on the EQ-5D utility score was -0.06 (SE = 0.02, p < 0.01) (OLS estimator). After controlling for socio-demographic and clinical confounders, the adjusted effect on the EQ-5D VAS score was -9.35 (SE = 2.46, p < 0.01) and on the EQ-5D utility score was 0.06 (SE = 0.04), although the latter was not statistically significant. Conclusions: There was a large and statistically significant association between south Asian ethnicity and lower EQ-5D VAS scores. In contrast, there was no significant difference in EQ-5D utility scores between the south Asian and white European sub-groups. Further research is needed to explain the differences in effects on subjective EQ-5D VAS scores and population-weighted EQ-5D utility scores in this context.

Original publication




Journal article


Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

Publication Date





type 2 diabetes health related quality of life eq-5d ethnicity south asian south asians african eq-5d population americans mellitus tobit care