The impact of level of education on vascular events and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: Results from the ADVANCE study

J I Blomster, S. Zoungas, M. Woodward, B Neal, Stephen Harrap, N Poulter, Michel Marre, B. Williams, David J Chalmers, G S Hillis

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Aims The relationship between educational level and the risk of all-cause mortality is well established, whereas the association with vascular events in individuals with type 2 diabetes is not well described. Any association may reflect a link with common cardiovascular or lifestyle-based risk factors. Methods The relationships between the highest level of educational attainment and major cardiovascular events, microvascular complications and all-cause mortality were explored in a cohort of 11,140 individuals with type 2 diabetes. Completion of formal education before the age of 16 was categorized as a low level of education. Regional differences between Asia, East Europe and Established Market Economies were also assessed. Results During a median of 5 years of follow up, 1031 (9%) patients died, 1147 (10%) experienced a major cardiovascular event and 1136 (10%) a microvascular event. After adjustment for baseline characteristics and risk factors, individuals with lower education had an increased risk of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio (HR) 1.31, 95% CI 1.16–1.48, p < 0.0001), microvascular events (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.08–1.39, p = 0.0013) and all-cause mortality (HR 1.34, 95% CI 1.18–1.52, p < 0.0001). In regional analyses the increased risk of studied outcomes associated with lower education was weakest in Established Market Economies and strongest in East Europe. Conclusions A low level of education is associated with an increased risk of vascular events and death in patients with type 2 diabetes, independently of common lifestyle associated cardiovascular risk factors. The effect size varies between geographical regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Cardiovascular events
  • Level of education
  • Microvascular events
  • Type 2 diabetes

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