In a recent study it was found that glycated hemoglobin levels of kids with type 1 diabetes is correlated negatively with household income.
Glycated hemoglobin is the binding of sugar to blood molecules - over time, high blood sugar levels lead to high levels of glycated hemoglobin, which means that it can be used to assess whether a patient properly controls his or her blood glucose level. "Our study highlights a marked disparity between the rich and the poor in an important health outcome for children with type 1 diabetes, despite free access to health care", explained Dr. Johnny Deladoëy, who led the study.
The researchers used statistics collected from 1,766 children who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at CHU Sainte-Justine between 1980 and 2011. They estimated their household income by using the median for their postal code as reported by Statistics Canada and standardized their glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) in order to undertake the study. "We know that there are a variety of socio-economic factors that affect metabolic control in diabetic children, but it is difficult to compare studies as researchers look at these factors in different ways", Deladoëy said. "However, median household income is a good proxy for these factors taken together". In addition, all studies on this subject have come from countries where users must pay to consult a health care professional whereas the present study is the first to look at this in the context of free health care. A study from Ontario, published simultaneously in another journal, reports similar findings.