Objectives: To describe hospitalization rates from diabetes mellitus or its complications among residents of the province of British Columbia, Canada during the 5-year period 1993 to 1997, comparing people with Indian Status to rest of the population.
Study design: A data base of all acute-care hospital discharges with diabetes mellitus anywhere among the discharge diagnoses was created. Case definitions of diabetes-related hospitalization were based on logical combinations of ICD-9 coded discharge diagnoses. Indirect standardization was used to adjust for age differences between the two populations.
Results: Among persons aged 35 years or older, Status Indian males and pregnant females were twice as likely to be hospitalized for diabetes-related illness than other males or pregnant females. Status Indian non-pregnant females were three times as likely to be hospitalized as their non-Status Indian counterparts. Under age 35 years there was no difference in risk. Older First Nations women have a higher risk of diabetes during pregnancy but this analysis cannot distinguish gestational diabetes from pre-existing Type 2 diabetes.