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13-09-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Lifestyle intervention improves physical QoL and is cost effective


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MedWire News: Lifestyle intervention for reduction of diabetes and cardiovascular risk significantly improves physical quality of life (QoL) and is cost-effective compared with standard care, say Swedish researchers.

Lifestyle intervention programs have been shown to substantially lower diabetes and cardiovascular risk, as reported by MedWire News. However, long-term QoL effects and cost-effectiveness data are scarce.

In this study, Margareta Eriksson (Björknäs Health Care Center, Boden) and colleagues randomly assigned 151 men and women aged between 18 and 65 years to take part in a lifestyle intervention program in addition to standard care or standard care alone. The intervention comprised supervised exercise sessions and dietary counseling over 3 months, followed by regular group meetings over 3 years.

The team assessed changes in QoL over the 3 years using EuroQol - 5-dimensional EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) and EuroQol-VAS (EQ-VAS) - the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the 6-dimensional Short-Form 6D (SF-6D). EQ-5D focuses on mental QoL, EQ-VAS and SF-6D focuses on physical QoL, and SF-36 includes an evaluation of both physical and mental QoL.

They found that significant improvements in EQ-VAS, SF-6D, and the physical component of SF-36 occurred in the lifestyle intervention compared with standard care alone group. But no significant improvements in EQ-5D or the mental component of SF-36 were observed.

Eriksson and co-workers calculated that a net saving of US $47 (€36) was made per person with the lifestyle intervention versus standard care. Costs gained per quality adjusted life year (QALY) ranged from US $1668-4813 (€1284-3705).

The researchers found that using a stakeholder threshold of US $50,000 (€38,489) as amount willing to pay per QALY gained, cost-effectiveness was estimated to range from 89-100%.

"Thus, high-intensity and long-lasting interventions can produce sustainable improvements in QoL and can obviously be cost-effective," conclude the authors in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Such programs may be a wise use of resources in primary health care for patients with diseases to which inactivity strongly contributes."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert