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Summary of key findings

14-year diabetes incidence: the role of socioeconomic status

Publication: Health Reports 2010:21(3)

Authors: Nancy A. Ross, Heather Gilmour, Kaberi Dasgupta

Data: National Population Health Survey (NPHS), 1994/95 through 2008/2009

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence has been increasing globally and is thought to largely reflect population aging and rising rates of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. The prevalence of T2D has also been shown to be related to socio-economic status (SES). Less is known about the role of SES in the onset of new cases.

This longitudinal analysis examines the relationship between T2D incidence and household income and individual educational attainment. It also examines factors such as being overweight or obese, heavy drinking, smoking and physical activity that may contribute to this relationship.

Even when the effects of these factors were taken into account, low levels of household income and individual education were associated with the onset of T2D in Canadian women. By contrast, among men, any relationship between household income or lower educational attainment and the onset of T2D disappeared when the other factors were taken into account.

These findings are based on 12,333 people aged 18 or older who were followed for 14 years to 2008/2009. Among those who were free of diabetes in 1994/95, an estimated 7.3% of men and 6.2% of women had developed or died from the disease by 2008/2009.

Full article

For more information about this article, contact Heather Gilmour (1-613-951-2114;, Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada.