OBJECTIVE To establish the relation between socioeconomic status and the age-sex specific prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The hypothesis was that prevalence of type 2 diabetes would be inversely related to socioeconomic status but there would be no association with the prevalence of type 1 diabetes and socioeconomic status.
SETTING Middlesbrough and East Cleveland, United Kingdom, district population 287 157.
PATIENTS 4313 persons with diabetes identified from primary care and hospital records.
RESULTS The overall age adjusted prevalence was 15.60 per 1000 population. There was a significant trend between the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and quintile of deprivation score in men and women (χ2 for linear trend, p<0.001). In men the prevalence in the least deprived quintile was 13.4 per 1000 (95% confidence intervals (95% CI) 11.44, 15.36) compared with 17.22 per 1000 (95% CI 15.51, 18.92) in the most deprived. For women the prevalence was 10.84 per 1000 (95% CI 9.00, 12.69) compared with 15.48 per 1000 (95% CI 13.84, 17.11) in the most deprived. The increased prevalence of diabetes in the most deprived areas was accounted for by increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the age band 40–69 years. There was no association between the prevalence of type 1 diabetes and socioeconomic status.
CONCLUSION These data confirm an inverse association between socioeconomic status and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the middle years of life. This finding suggests that exposure to factors that are implicated in the causation of diabetes is more common in deprived areas.
- socioeconomic status
- type 2 diabetes mellitus
- type 1 diabetes mellitus
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Conflicts of interest: none.