Health Insurance Is Associated with Decreased Odds for Undiagnosed Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in American Adults

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 30;17(13):4706. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17134706.


Over a third of adults in the United States have prediabetes, and many of those with prediabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes within 3-5 years. Health insurance status may factor into a proper diagnosis of prediabetes and diabetes. This study sought to determine the associations between health insurance and undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes in a national sample of American adults. Publicly available data from 13,029 adults aged 18-64 years from the 2005-2016 waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed. Health insurance type (Medicaid, Private, Other, None) was self-reported. Prediabetes and diabetes status were assessed with measures of self-report, glycohemoglobin, fasting plasma glucose, and two-hour glucose. Covariate-adjusted logistic models were used for the analyses. Overall, 5976 (45.8%) participants had undiagnosed prediabetes, while 897 (6.8%) had undiagnosed diabetes. Having health insurance was associated with decreased odds ratios for undiagnosed prediabetes: 0.87 (95% confidence interval (CI: 0.79, 0.95)) for private insurance, 0.84 (CI: 0.73, 0.95) for other insurance, and 0.78 (CI: 0.67, 0.90) for Medicaid. Moreover, having private health insurance was associated with 0.82 (CI: 0.67, 0.99) decreased odds for undiagnosed diabetes. Health insurance coverage and screening opportunities for uninsured individuals may reduce prediabetes and diabetes misclassifications.

Keywords: delivery of healthcare; healthcare disparities; mandatory testing; socioeconomic factors.