November 13, 2018
2 min read

Socioeconomic status associated with BMI, HbA1c in type 2 diabetes

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Adults with type 2 diabetes living in an economically depressed area are more likely to have a higher BMI and HbA1c compared with similar adults living in an area of higher socioeconomic status, whereas waist circumference was not associated with economic factors, according to study data presented here.

Stephanie Bonn

“More support for better self-care is needed among patients with diabetes type 2 living in areas of lower socioeconomic status,” Stephanie Bonn, PhD, assistant professor and nutritional epidemiologist in the department of medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, told Endocrine Today. “Our results showed that patients with diabetes type 2 from an area with lower socioeconomic status were younger, had a higher BMI and higher levels of HbA1c compared to patients from the area with higher socioeconomic status.”

Bonn and colleagues analyzed baseline data from 134 adults with type 2 diabetes participating in an ongoing randomized controlled trial of a digital care plan in Stockholm from 2017 to 2018 (69% men). Researchers used t tests to assess differences in BMI, waist circumference and HbA1c among adults living in one underserved area (n = 67) and one central-high socioeconomic status area (n = 67) in Stockholm.

Within the cohort, mean age was 59 years; mean BMI was 30.2 kg/m²and mean HbA1c was 7.1%. Most participants had overweight or obesity and 80% had a BMI of at least 25 kg/m².

Researchers found that patients with type 2 diabetes living in a lower socioeconomic status area were younger, had a borderline significantly higher BMI and a higher HbA1c vs. those who lived in a central-high socioeconomic status area. Mean BMI for adults in the economically disadvantaged area was 31.2 kg/m² vs. a mean BMI of 29.3 kg/m² in the central-high socioeconomic status area. Mean HbA1c for the low vs. high socioeconomic status areas was 7.3% and 6.9%, respectively. There were no between group differences for waist circumference, according to researchers.

“Clinicians and other health care personnel working in lower socioeconomic areas should be aware that patients with diabetes type 2 diabetes may need additional support for self-care in-between health care visits,” Bonn said. – by Regina Schaffer


Bonn SE. T-P-3114. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2018; Nov. 11-15, 2018; Nashville, Tenn.

For more information:

Stephanie Bonn, PhD, can be reached at the Karolinska Institute, Department of Medicine, Solna, SE-171 76 Stockholm; email: stephanie.bonn@ki.se.

Disclosure: Bonn reports no relevant financial disclosures.