INTRODUCTION: To estimate lifetime prevalence of diabetes-related upper limb and non-acquired skin manifestations in a representative type 1 diabetes (T1D) population and to identify associations between these conditions and quality of life.
METHODS: A questionnaire on these complications and measures of quality of life (World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index [WHO-5]), depression, and diabetes-specific burden (Problem Areas in Diabetes [PAID] scale) was sent to all T1D patients in a Danish clinic (N?=?583).
RESULTS: The response rate was 68.6%. Lifetime prevalence of any upper limb soft tissue lesion was 72%; prevalence of any skin lesion was 10.5%. Frozen shoulder and vitiligo were most common upper limb and skin manifestation, at a prevalence of 53 and 9.1%, respectively. Compared to patients with no skin lesion, those with at least one skin lesion had more depression (19 vs. 33%; P?<?0.01) and lower WHO-5 scores. Frozen shoulder was associated with lower WHO-5 scores (P?<?0.001), more depression (29 vs. 14%; P?<?0.001), and a higher PAID score (P?<?0.01). A diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome was associated with lower WHO-5 scores (P?<?0.001), a higher risk of depression (29 vs. 16%; P?<?0.01), and a higher PAID score (P?<?0.001).
CONCLUSION: Upper limb soft tissue lesions and diabetes-specific non-acquired skin lesions are very common in patients with T1D and strongly associated with impaired life quality and increased risk of depression.