Schooling Matters in Diabetes Death Risk

Diabetes patients with lower levels of education and wealth may have increased risk of death

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) In the US population, the risk of death is linked to money and education. Levels of wealth and education may also play a role in the risk of death among people with diabetes.

Diabetes patients who are poor and have less education may be more likely to die than patients with the highest levels of wealth and education.

"Watch your blood sugar to prevent complications."

"Although several studies have examined the association between socioeconomic status and mortality in the general population, few have investigated this relationship among people with diabetes," said Sharon H. Saydah, PhD, and her fellow researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Socioeconomic status is a measure of a person's or family's position in society based on income, level of education and employment.

Dr. Saydah and colleagues wanted to see how the risk of death was linked to different measures of socioeconomic status among people with diabetes.

They found that the risk of death was much higher in people with lower levels of education and those who were poor, compared to those with higher levels of education and more money.

The researchers then looked at this link a second time, but took into account other factors that could affect the risk of death.

These factors included demographics, other health problems, amount of time with diabetes, type of treatment, access to health care and mental stress.

After adjusting their results for these factors, the researchers found that only patients with the lowest levels of education had a higher risk of death, with a hazard ratio of 1.52.

A hazard ratio explains how much an event happens in one group compared to another.

In this case, the hazard ratio showed that death was more common in patients with the lowest levels of education than in those with higher levels of education.

The study's results also showed that patients without certain measures of wealth - such as stocks or owning a home - had a higher risk of death than those with those measures.

The authors concluded that levels of education and wealth may be strong predictors of death risk among adults with diabetes.

The study was published August 28 in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 28, 2012
Last Updated:
September 4, 2012