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Health inequalities in type 1 diabetes outcomes linked to socioeconomic status

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There is a significant association between socioeconomic status (SES) and glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in Canada, according to a study that  found that children from lower SES backgrounds had higher hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, indicating poorer blood glucose control compared to their counterparts from higher SES backgrounds.

The study involved 306 children, with an average age of 13.6 years and a mean HbA1c of 8.5%. The analysis revealed a concerning association between lower SES and higher HbA1c levels. Children in the most deprived quintiles had significantly higher mean HbA1c levels compared to their counterparts in the least deprived quintiles. However, an intriguing finding emerged – the impact of SES on HbA1c was significantly modified by the use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM).

Among children who were not using CGM, those in the most deprived quintiles had a substantially higher mean HbA1c level of 0.52% (95% CI 0.14%-0.86%) compared to those in the least deprived quintiles. However, for children using CGM, the association between SES and HbA1c was not statistically significant.

Simba S, Von Oettingen JE, Rahme E, et al. Socioeconomic disparities in glycemic control in children and youth with type 1 diabetes: a retrospective cohort study. Can J Diabetes. 2023;S1499-2671(23)00176-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2023.07.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37481125.