Association between educational level and cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes: a prospective study in the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation Program

Clin Epidemiol. 2018 Oct 25;10:1561-1571. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S177437. eCollection 2018.

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the association between educational level and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in Hong Kong Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Patients and methods: We included 12,634 patients with type 2 diabetes who were enrolled into the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation Program between June 1, 2007, and June 30, 2017. We classified patients' educational level into the following three groups: ≤6 years, 6-13 years, and >13 years. Incident CVD events were identified using hospital discharge diagnoses. Death was identified from Hong Kong Death Register. We estimated HRs for incident CVD and all-cause mortality using Cox regression models.

Results: Patients with the highest educational level were younger and had shorter diabetes duration and better glycemic control at enrollment than those with the lowest educational level. During the median follow-up of 6.2 years for CVD and 6.4 years for all-cause mortality, 954 CVD events and 833 deaths were recorded. HRs for CVD and all-cause mortality were 0.73 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.94) and 0.71 (95% CI: 0.54, 0.94) for the highest educational level compared to the lowest educational level, after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes duration, and family history of diabetes.

Conclusion: Educational level is inversely associated with the risk of CVD and all-cause mortality among Hong Kong Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. Hong Kong Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes and low educational level should be given special attention for the prevention of key complications of diabetes.

Keywords: all-cause mortality; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; educational level; socioeconomic status.