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Educational inequalities in the prevalence and outcomes of diabetes in the Emilian Longitudinal Study

Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases. 2020

ISSN 0939-4753


Studies carried out in Italy in the last decades reported an effect modification in the association between socioeconomic position and diabetes outcomes, and the disease integrated care approach has been suggested as an explanatory factor. Whether this is true in Emilia-Romagna region in recent years is unknown and the aim of this study is to describe the role of educational level both on diabetes prevalence and health outcomes among the adult population with and without diabetes enrolled in the Emilian Longitudinal Study.

Methods and results

Inequalities in diabetes prevalence were evaluated through standardised estimates and prevalence ratios by educational level and inequalities in outcomes through standardised hospitalisation and mortality ratios and rate ratios by educational level. The lower the education the greater the diabetes prevalence; such differences were larger among women and younger age groups. Diabetes conferred a higher risk of hospitalisation and mortality; those outcomes also presented a social gradient with the less educated bearing the higher risk. However, educational differences were slightly stronger among the disease-free subjects, especially in the case of mortality. In both genders, inequalities tended to disappear with age.


This study confirms that diabetes increases the risk of unfavourable outcomes, but does not increase social inequalities in outcomes as might be expected. Similarly to what has been previously shown, it is likely that the protective effect of diabetes on the negative health effects of the low social position is attributable to the disease integrated care approach.

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Science direct

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pubblicato il 2020/06/22 13:11:00 GMT+2 ultima modifica 2020-06-25T16:32:36+02:00

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