Introduction The aim of this study is to investigate whether leisure time physical activity, diet and smoking behaviours are associated with hospital utilisation in a nationally representative sample of adults with diabetes.
Methods We conducted a prospective study on persons aged 18 and above with self-reported physician-diagnosed diabetes (N=797) who participated in the National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan, 2001. A total of 596 participants had complete data for self-care behaviours and provided consent for data linkage and were successfully linked to the National Health Insurance claims data. Multiple logistic regression (occurrence of hospitalisation) and negative binomial regression (number of admissions and hospital bed days) were done to analyse the associations between self-care behaviours and hospital utilisation for any cause during 2002.
Results After adjusting for demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and diabetic related attributes, participants having a diet control was associated with fewer hospital bed days (incidence rate ratio IRR=0.57; 95% CI [0.32 to 0.99]). Moreover, those participants reporting leisure time physical activity of ≥1000 kcal per week had a significantly lower risk of hospitalisation (OR=0.35; 95% CI [0.16 to 0.77], fewer admissions (IRR=0.31; 95% CI [0.16 to 0.58]) and fewer hospital bed days (IRR=0.17; 95% CI [0.07 to 0.37]) compared with inactive individuals.
Conclusion Our findings suggest that the promotion for adults with diabetes in performing their self-care behaviours, especially exercising and having a diet control may have economic benefits. However, more research is needed to explore the underlying obstacles to engaging in self-care behaviours among people with diabetes.
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