Rosemary Dray-Spira Finds Link Between Higher Educational Attainment and Lower Mortality Rates in Diabetic Patients

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 a study in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

Rosemary Dray-Spira, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data on 85,867 individuals (aged 35 to 84 years), including 5,007 with diabetes, from the National Health Interview Survey (1986 to 1996). The researchers followed the cohort through 2002, then compared educational disparities, based on level of education attained, for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and non-CVD mortality for those with diabetes versus those without diabetes.

U.S. adults with diabetes who have lower educational levels are at increased risk for mortality, primarily driven by cardiovascular risk factors, according to new study findings.

For the study, researchers measured and compared relative and absolute educational disparities in mortality among patients aged between 35 and 84 years with (n=80,167) and without diabetes (n=5,007).

Data were taken from participants who had participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 1986 to 1996 and were linked to the National Death Index until December 2002. Median follow-up was 10.5 years. Educational attainment was the primary indicator for socioeconomic position, as education is unlikely to be affected by poor health during adulthood, according to the researchers.