December 13, 2016
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Vaccination rates vary by age, race, income in adults with diabetes

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Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, vaccination coverage for influenza, pneumococcal and herpes zoster was lowest among poor adults, increased with age and varied by race, according to new data released by the National Center for Health Statistics.

“Persons with diabetes are at an increased risk for complications from vaccine-preventable infections,” Maria A. Villarroel, PhD, and Anjel Vahratian, PhD, MPH, of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the CDC, wrote in an NCHS data brief. “Several vaccines are recommended for adults with diabetes, including annual vaccination for influenza and at least a one-time dose of pneumococcal vaccine, regardless of age; a [herpes zoster] vaccine starting at age 60 [years] and a hepatitis B vaccine soon after diabetes diagnosis among those aged 19 to 59 [years], and based on clinical discretion thereafter.”

According to the report, adults with diabetes were most likely to have received the influenza vaccine (61.6%), followed by pneumococcal (52.6%) and hepatitis B (17.1%). Fewer than three in 10 adults with diabetes aged at least 60 years had been vaccinated for herpes zoster, according to the researchers.

Age, race and income all played a role in vaccination rates. Adults with diabetes who were aged 18 to 44 years were less likely to receive the influenza vaccination vs. those aged at least 75 years (41.4% vs. 74.5%), as were black and Hispanic adults vs. whites (51.1%, 53.9% and 65.3%, respectively) and poor vs. not poor adults (50.9% vs. 65.9%).

Adults aged at least 75 years were also more likely to have received the pneumococcal vaccine vs. those aged 18 to 44 years (74.2% vs. 27.5%), whereas younger adults were more likely to have received the three-dose vaccination schedule for hepatitis B vs. adults aged at least 75 years (30.2% vs. 7%).

Among adults aged at least 60 years with diabetes, those most likely to have been vaccinated for herpes zoster were aged at least 75 years (31.7%), white (32%) and not poor (31.9%), according to the data. Researchers did not observe between-group differences for sex. – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.