Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between type 2 diabetes mellitus, area-based socioeconomic status (SES) and cardiovascular disease mortality in Scotland.
Methods: We used an area-based measure of SES, Scottish national diabetes register data linked to mortality records, and general population cause-specific mortality data to investigate the relationships between SES, type 2 diabetes and mortality from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and cerebrovascular disease (CbVD), for 2001-2007. We used negative binomial regression to obtain age-adjusted RRs of mortality (by sex), comparing people with type 2 diabetes with the non-diabetic population.
Results: Among 216,652 people aged 40 years or older with type 2 diabetes (980,687 person-years), there were 10,554 IHD deaths and 4,378 CbVD deaths. Age-standardised mortality increased with increasing deprivation, and was higher among men. IHD mortality RRs were highest among the least deprived quintile and lowest in the most deprived quintile (men: least deprived, RR 1.94 [95% CI 1.61, 2.33]; most deprived, RR 1.46 [95% CI 1.23, 1.74]) and were higher in women than men (women: least deprived, RR 2.84 [95% CI 2.12, 3.80]; most deprived, RR 2.04 [95% CI 1.55, 2.69]). A similar, weaker, pattern was observed for cerebrovascular mortality.
Conclusions/interpretation: Absolute risk of cardiovascular mortality is higher in people with diabetes than in the non-diabetic population and increases with increasing deprivation. The relative impact of diabetes on cardiovascular mortality differs by SES, and further efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk both in deprived groups and people with diabetes are required. Prevention of diabetes may reduce socioeconomic health inequalities.