About 10% of Australians with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) use insulin pump therapy (IPT), with most users acquiring their (≈$9000) pump via private health insurance. Other Australian data support lower secondary school completion rates in people with vs. without T1D. The publicly subsidised NDSS and Medicare provide most of the cost of pump and other diabetes care related consumables and health-care professional input. The time required for health-care professionals to treat pump users is significantly greater than for MDI users. The economic hurdle of acquiring insulin pumps may bias pump use towards more affluent individuals.
To determine if there is a difference in socio-economic (SE) and educational (EDU) status of T1D adults on IPT versus MDIs, and a non-diabetic control group (CON).
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 329 adults: 54 T1D on IPT; 158 T1D on MDI (attending St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne diabetes services) and 117 CON. SE and EDU status weres based on residential postcode data linkage with the ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Statistics for Areas’. A cluster analysis using k-means grouping method identified three clusters of economic/educational affluence (low; medium; high) and the frequency of each affluence cluster within each subject group was compared by chi-square test. Significance was taken at p<0.05.
Table 1 shows the percentage of each affluence cluster in each group.
No significant difference was observed between IPT and MDI T1D groups for either SE or EDU status. Both T1D groups had lower SE and EDU status than CON (both p<0.05).
In T1D adults attending a public hospital campus IPT and MDI users were of similar SE and EDU status. Both groups of T1D subjects were of lower SE and EDU status than non-diabetic subjects.