Less education linked to higher mortality in diabetes

July 9, 2010

The mortality risk among adults with diabetes differs greatly by education level.

Diabetes Care. 2010;33:1200-1205. [June 2010]

The mortality risk among adults with diabetes differs greatly by educational level, and although the relative disparities in this population are not as strong as those in adults without diabetes, their absolute impact is greater, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. They analyzed data on 85,867 adults aged 35 to 84 years, including 5,007 with diabetes, from the National Health Interview Survey. The researchers found that diabetes patients with the lowest educational attainment had a 28 percent higher all-cause mortality risk than those with the highest educational attainment. The relative disparities in this population were substantial yet weaker than disparities in mortality among adults without diabetes. In absolute terms, adults with diabetes with the lowest educational attainment suffered 503 excess deaths per 10,000 person-years of follow-up, compared to those with the highest educational achievement.