Women with low income face greater risk of diabetes

Fri, 20 Aug 2010
A new study has found that lower-income women were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women in the high-income bracket. The research, based on 12,333 respondents in a 14-year study in Canada, and published in Statistics Canada, uncovered the divergence even when the effects of being overweight and the ethnic and cultural background were taken into account.

It was revealed that for people over 18 and that didn't suffer from diabetes in 1994-95, when they were examined in 2008-09, 7.2 per cent of men and 6.3 per cent of women had developed or died from the disease.

It seems that other factors such as stress, diet, psychological factors, access to healthcare and insurance coverage may all be contributory. Heather Gilmour, who co-authored the paper, said "People in these lower socio-economic groups tend to also be more likely to be more physically inactive, to be obese or to be heavy smokers."

"But the important thing about this study is that even when we controlled for that, there's still something remaining about low income, for example, that is increasing the risk for diabetes among women."

One expert believes that the key factor that is contributing to low socio-economic status being associated with greater risk of diabetes onset may be the fact of having children, while others have stated that there must be other factors involved.

Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association, said "The report's main findings really confirm the increased risk of diabetes for populations with low income and low education levels, coupled with new information concerning the greater vulnerability of women in developing Type 2 diabetes within these populations."
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