Objectives Numerous studies reported that achieving near-normal glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in patients with diabetes may delay or even prevent vascular complications. However, information regarding the impact of non-optimal HbA1c control on adverse health outcomes in an Arab population is unknown. The aim of this study was to estimate the fraction of deaths and potential years of life lost (PYLL) attributable to non-optimal HbA1c control among Emirati men and women with diabetes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Design A retrospective cohort study. Setting This study was conducted in outpatient clinics at a tertiary care centre in Al Ain, UAE, between April 2008 and September 2018. Participants The sample comprised of 583 adult UAE nationals, aged≥18 years, with diabetes. Overall, 57% (n=332) of the study participants were men and 43% (n=251) were women. Exposure Non-optimal HbA1c control, defined as HbA1c≥6.5%. Primary outcome measure All-cause mortality, defined as death from any cause. Results At the end of the 9-year follow-up period, 86 (14.8%) participants died. Overall, up to 33% (95% CI 2% to 63%) of deaths were attributable to non-optimal HbA1c control among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Stratified by sex, the adjusted fraction of avoidable mortality was 17% (95% CI -23% to 57%) for men and 50% (95% CI 3% to 98%) for women. Both deaths and PYLL attributable to non-optimal HbA1c control were higher in women compared with men. Conclusions Up to one-third of all deaths in adult UAE nationals with DM could be attributed to non-optimal HbA1c control. Effective sex-specific interventions and healthcare quality-improvement programmes should urgently be implemented.
- United Arab Emirates
- glycated haemoglobin
- population-attributable fraction
- potential years of life lost
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