Adult diabetics with low levels of financial wealth and education have a greater mortality risk than those with higher education and wealth levels, a new study has revealed.
To investigate the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality among people with diabetes, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysed data from 6,177 adult diabetic patients aged 25 years or older who participated in the National Health Interview Surveys (1997 to 2003). The data was then linked to mortality data gathered during follow-up.
SES was measured by education attained, financial wealth (either stocks/dividends or home ownership), and income-to-poverty ratio.
The researchers found that risk of death was considerably higher for people with lower levels of education and income-to-poverty ratio compared with those at the highest levels.
After taking into account factors such as demographics, comorbidities, diabetes treatment and duration of the disease, health care access, and psychological distress, the association remained significant only for people with the lowest level of education .
The risk of death was also significantly greater for diabetics without certain types of financial wealth (e.g. stocks, home ownership) than for those with them.
The authors concluded that “the findings suggest that, after adjustments for demographics, health care access, and psychological distress, the level of education attained and financial wealth remain strong predictors of mortality risk among adults with diabetes.”
The study is published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

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