Type 1 diabetes associated with lower employment and earnings

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Employment and earnings are lower between the ages of 30 and 50 years old in people who developed type 1 diabetes in childhood, according to a Swedish study.
The study looked to explore how much difference child-onset type 1 diabetes made on employment and earnings later into adulthood. The study looked into how four different factors (education, occupation, family formation and health) may indirectly influence the findings.
The study used data from the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Register (SCDR), which records information on people with type 1 diabetes aged under 15 years of age. The SCDR has been active since 1 July 1977.
The study included 4,179 adults with type 1 diabetes diagnosed in childhood and matched them to 16,983 adults without type 1 diabetes. The average age of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was 10 years old.
The findings showed that type 1 diabetes had a negative effect on both employment and earnings by the time adults reached 30-50 years of age. The researchers note that health, choice of occupation, education and whether the adults formed a family together played a major part towards the effects on employment and earnings.
One of the reasons highlighted by the researchers is that people with type 1 diabetes may choose certain jobs that better fit in with their management of diabetes.
The results did not find that employment and earnings varied significantly as a result of the socioeconomic status of the family; that is the education and earnings of the parents of the people with type 1 diabetes.
The researchers conclude that: “A large part of the effect of type 1 diabetes on the labour market is attributed to adult health but there are other important mediating factors that need to be considered to reduce this negative effect.”
The study is published in February’s Diabetologia journal.