Aim: To describe geriatric syndromes and their relationships with quality of life in older adults with diabetes. Methods: Community-dwelling older adults (aged >60 years) with diabetes (n = 316) participated in the present study. Eight geriatric syndromes, including polypharmacy (number of medications), pain (Brief Pain Inventory), urinary incontinence (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire), sleep disturbance (hours of sleep), lower cognitive level (Mini-Mental State Examination), falls, depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale short form) and functional limitation (Barthel Index and Instrumental Activity of Daily Living), were assessed. The WHOQOL-BREF Taiwan version was used to measure physical, psychological, social and environmental domains of quality of life. Results: Polypharmacy was the most common geriatric syndrome (46.6%), followed by pain (41.5%). Participants with any of the geriatric syndromes, except for polypharmacy and sleep disturbance, had significantly poorer quality of life than those without. The Geriatric Depression Scale score was the only common and significant contributor to all four domains of quality of life, explaining 16~29% of the variance. Number of medications, pain level and cognitive level were also significant contributors, although they explained a small amount (<5%) of the variance. The number of geriatric syndromes (mode = 2) was significantly correlated with all four domains of quality of life (partial correlation r = −0.278~0.460, all P < 0.001). Conclusions: Geriatric syndromes, especially polypharmacy and pain, were common among older adults with diabetes. A greater number of geriatric syndromes or a higher Geriatric Depression Scale score were associated with poorer quality of life. Further studies focusing on combinations of different geriatric syndromes or comorbidities are required. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 518–524.
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