Diabetes in young adult men: social and health-related correlates

Rachel L. Koelmeyer, Shyamali C. Dharmage, Dallas R. English

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diabetes is a global public health issue. It is associated with significant disability, morbidity and mortality risks and substantial healthcare costs. Of great concern is the fact that its prevalence is rising, particularly amongst the young, while epidemiological data regarding the incidence, prevalence and complications of early-onset type 2 diabetes is noted to be sparse. Methods: We used data from the baseline wave of Ten to Men, a national cohort study of Australian males, to investigate the social and health-related correlates of Australian males aged 18-49 years reporting being diagnosed with diabetes. Results: The estimated prevalence of a self-reported diabetes diagnosis amongst Australian males aged 18-49 years was 2.95 % (95 % CI: 2.54-3.43 %). Within this age group, approximately 75 % of those diagnosed with diabetes are expected to be living with a known diagnosis of type 2 diabetes; the remainder are expected to be living with type 1 diabetes. Of the 20 social and health-related factors considered, we found evidence to support the association of eighteen factors after adjusting for age and body mass index. The strongest correlates of reporting a diabetes diagnosis, associated with a ≥2-fold increase in the odds of reporting diabetes were being aged 35-49 years, being unemployed, being obese, seeing a doctor for a check-up more frequently, reporting comorbid high blood pressure or physical or mental health comorbidities and worse self-rated and physical health status. Conclusion: Australian males aged 18-49 years who are living with a known diagnosis of diabetes are more likely to be socio-economically disadvantaged and suffer substantially worse health status than Australian males aged 18-49 years living without a diabetes diagnosis. Based on the associations detected in this study, older, single males living in regional areas who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, obese and/or who have other comorbidities may be an important subgroup to target for diabetes screening, disease management and prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue numberSuppl 3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016

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