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Educational disparities in health behaviors among patients with diabetes: the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study.

Karter AJ, Stevens MR, Brown AF, Duru OK, Gregg EW, Gary TL, Beckles GL, Tseng CW, Marrero DG, Waitzfelder B, Herman WH, Piette JD, Safford MM, Ettner SL - BMC Public Health (2007)

Bottom Line: Patients with less education had significantly lower predicted probabilities of being a non-smoker and engaging in regular exercise and health-seeking behaviors, while SMBG and foot self-examination did not vary by education.Extensive adjustment for patient factors revealed no discernable confounding effect on the estimates or their significance, and most education-behavior relationships were similar across sex, race and other patient characteristics.Over the life course, the cumulative effect of reduced practice of multiple self-care behaviors among less educated patients may play an important part in shaping the social health gradient.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, USA. andy.j.karter@kp.org

ABSTRACT

Background: Our understanding of social disparities in diabetes-related health behaviors is incomplete. The purpose of this study was to determine if having less education is associated with poorer diabetes-related health behaviors.

Methods: This observational study was based on a cohort of 8,763 survey respondents drawn from ~180,000 patients with diabetes receiving care from 68 provider groups in ten managed care health plans across the United States. Self-reported survey data included individual educational attainment ("education") and five diabetes self-care behaviors among individuals for whom the behavior would clearly be indicated: foot exams (among those with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or a history of foot ulcers); self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG; among insulin users only); smoking; exercise; and certain diabetes-related health seeking behaviors (use of diabetes health education, website, or support group in last 12 months). Predicted probabilities were modeled at each level of self-reported educational attainment using hierarchical logistic regression models with random effects for clustering within health plans.

Results: Patients with less education had significantly lower predicted probabilities of being a non-smoker and engaging in regular exercise and health-seeking behaviors, while SMBG and foot self-examination did not vary by education. Extensive adjustment for patient factors revealed no discernable confounding effect on the estimates or their significance, and most education-behavior relationships were similar across sex, race and other patient characteristics. The relationship between education and smoking varied significantly across age, with a strong inverse relationship in those aged 25-44, modest for those ages 45-64, but non-evident for those over 65. Intensity of disease management by the health plan and provider communication did not alter the examined education-behavior relationships. Other measures of socioeconomic position yielded similar findings.

Conclusion: The relationship between educational attainment and health behaviors was modest in strength for most behaviors. Over the life course, the cumulative effect of reduced practice of multiple self-care behaviors among less educated patients may play an important part in shaping the social health gradient.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Count of self-reported self-care behaviors* across levels of educational attainment. Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study. *Counts by level of education were based on least square means from hierarchical regression models accounting for clustering within health plans and adjusted for sex, age, race or ethnicity, preferred language, health plan location, diabetes treatment, and the presence of comorbidities. For non-insulin treated patients, there were 4 possible self-care behaviors: 1) not smoking; 2) regular exercise (≥ 10 minutes of walking daily and/or moderate leisure time physical activity on a regular basis); 3) daily foot exam; 4) health seeking behavior (use of diabetes website, support group, health education); and a fifth for insulin-treated patients only, 5) daily self-monitoring of blood glucose. In both cases, relationships were significant (p < 0.001).
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Figure 1: Count of self-reported self-care behaviors* across levels of educational attainment. Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study. *Counts by level of education were based on least square means from hierarchical regression models accounting for clustering within health plans and adjusted for sex, age, race or ethnicity, preferred language, health plan location, diabetes treatment, and the presence of comorbidities. For non-insulin treated patients, there were 4 possible self-care behaviors: 1) not smoking; 2) regular exercise (≥ 10 minutes of walking daily and/or moderate leisure time physical activity on a regular basis); 3) daily foot exam; 4) health seeking behavior (use of diabetes website, support group, health education); and a fifth for insulin-treated patients only, 5) daily self-monitoring of blood glucose. In both cases, relationships were significant (p < 0.001).

Mentions: The summary estimate of the total number of healthy behaviors reported by level of education is shown separately for insulin and non-insulin treated patients (Figure 1). In both cases, there was a significant relationship between education and the number of healthy behaviors (both p < 0.001).


Educational disparities in health behaviors among patients with diabetes: the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study.

Karter AJ, Stevens MR, Brown AF, Duru OK, Gregg EW, Gary TL, Beckles GL, Tseng CW, Marrero DG, Waitzfelder B, Herman WH, Piette JD, Safford MM, Ettner SL - BMC Public Health (2007)

Count of self-reported self-care behaviors* across levels of educational attainment. Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study. *Counts by level of education were based on least square means from hierarchical regression models accounting for clustering within health plans and adjusted for sex, age, race or ethnicity, preferred language, health plan location, diabetes treatment, and the presence of comorbidities. For non-insulin treated patients, there were 4 possible self-care behaviors: 1) not smoking; 2) regular exercise (≥ 10 minutes of walking daily and/or moderate leisure time physical activity on a regular basis); 3) daily foot exam; 4) health seeking behavior (use of diabetes website, support group, health education); and a fifth for insulin-treated patients only, 5) daily self-monitoring of blood glucose. In both cases, relationships were significant (p < 0.001).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2238766&req=5

Figure 1: Count of self-reported self-care behaviors* across levels of educational attainment. Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study. *Counts by level of education were based on least square means from hierarchical regression models accounting for clustering within health plans and adjusted for sex, age, race or ethnicity, preferred language, health plan location, diabetes treatment, and the presence of comorbidities. For non-insulin treated patients, there were 4 possible self-care behaviors: 1) not smoking; 2) regular exercise (≥ 10 minutes of walking daily and/or moderate leisure time physical activity on a regular basis); 3) daily foot exam; 4) health seeking behavior (use of diabetes website, support group, health education); and a fifth for insulin-treated patients only, 5) daily self-monitoring of blood glucose. In both cases, relationships were significant (p < 0.001).
Mentions: The summary estimate of the total number of healthy behaviors reported by level of education is shown separately for insulin and non-insulin treated patients (Figure 1). In both cases, there was a significant relationship between education and the number of healthy behaviors (both p < 0.001).

Bottom Line: Patients with less education had significantly lower predicted probabilities of being a non-smoker and engaging in regular exercise and health-seeking behaviors, while SMBG and foot self-examination did not vary by education.Extensive adjustment for patient factors revealed no discernable confounding effect on the estimates or their significance, and most education-behavior relationships were similar across sex, race and other patient characteristics.Over the life course, the cumulative effect of reduced practice of multiple self-care behaviors among less educated patients may play an important part in shaping the social health gradient.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, USA. andy.j.karter@kp.org

ABSTRACT

Background: Our understanding of social disparities in diabetes-related health behaviors is incomplete. The purpose of this study was to determine if having less education is associated with poorer diabetes-related health behaviors.

Methods: This observational study was based on a cohort of 8,763 survey respondents drawn from ~180,000 patients with diabetes receiving care from 68 provider groups in ten managed care health plans across the United States. Self-reported survey data included individual educational attainment ("education") and five diabetes self-care behaviors among individuals for whom the behavior would clearly be indicated: foot exams (among those with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or a history of foot ulcers); self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG; among insulin users only); smoking; exercise; and certain diabetes-related health seeking behaviors (use of diabetes health education, website, or support group in last 12 months). Predicted probabilities were modeled at each level of self-reported educational attainment using hierarchical logistic regression models with random effects for clustering within health plans.

Results: Patients with less education had significantly lower predicted probabilities of being a non-smoker and engaging in regular exercise and health-seeking behaviors, while SMBG and foot self-examination did not vary by education. Extensive adjustment for patient factors revealed no discernable confounding effect on the estimates or their significance, and most education-behavior relationships were similar across sex, race and other patient characteristics. The relationship between education and smoking varied significantly across age, with a strong inverse relationship in those aged 25-44, modest for those ages 45-64, but non-evident for those over 65. Intensity of disease management by the health plan and provider communication did not alter the examined education-behavior relationships. Other measures of socioeconomic position yielded similar findings.

Conclusion: The relationship between educational attainment and health behaviors was modest in strength for most behaviors. Over the life course, the cumulative effect of reduced practice of multiple self-care behaviors among less educated patients may play an important part in shaping the social health gradient.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus