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OBJECTIVES: Most type 2 diabetes simulation models utilise equations mapping out lifetime trajectories of risk factors [e.g. glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c)]. Existing equations, using historic data or assuming constant risk factors, frequently underestimate or overestimate complication rates. Updated risk factor time path equations are needed for simulation models to more accurately predict complication rates. AIMS: (1) Update United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study Outcomes Model (UKPDS-OM2) risk factor time path equations; (2) compare quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) using original and updated equations; and (3) compare QALY gains for reference case simulations using different risk factor equations. METHODS: Using pooled contemporary data from two randomised trials EXSCEL and TECOS (n = 28,608), we estimated: dynamic panel models of seven continuous risk factors (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, HbA1c, haemoglobin, heart rate, blood pressure and body mass index); two-step models of estimated glomerular filtration rate; and survival analyses of peripheral arterial disease, atrial fibrillation and albuminuria. UKPDS-OM2-derived lifetime QALYs were extrapolated over 70 years using historical and the new risk factor equations. RESULTS: All new risk factor equation predictions were within 95% confidence intervals of observed values, displaying good agreement between observed and estimated values. Historical risk factor time path equations predicted trial participants would accrue 9.84 QALYs, increasing to 10.98 QALYs using contemporary equations. DISCUSSION: Incorporating updated risk factor time path equations into diabetes simulation models could give more accurate predictions of long-term health, costs, QALYs and cost-effectiveness estimates, as well as a more precise understanding of the impact of diabetes on patients' health, expenditure and quality of life. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01144338 and NCT00790205.

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