Objective: To test the association of undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes mellitus with education and income level.
Methods: We utilized measures of diabetes status, fasting plasma glucose, socio-economic status, and demographic characteristics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) for adults of age 20 and older. We inferred the presence of undiagnosed diabetes using the criterion of the American Diabetes Association at the time of NHANES III. A logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association of undiagnosed diabetes with education and income after controlling for other variables.
Results: Undiagnosed diabetes is not related to education or income. In the sub-population of individuals with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes is more likely in obese individuals (OR 1.95, 1.01-3.76), but is not related to education or income.
Conclusions: Socio-economic status, as measured by education and income, is not associated with whether or not individuals are likely to have undiagnosed diabetes. This finding suggests that screening for Type 2 diabetes should focus on those adults who are at risk for diabetes in general (based on age, racial/ethnic groups, obesity and other clinical risk factors) and that socio-economic characteristics are unlikely to provide further information.