Study: Low-Income Minnesotans More Likely To Have Diabetes
Lower-income Minnesotans of working age (18 to 64) are two and a half times more likely to have diabetes than Minnesotans of the same age who earn more, the state’s Department of Health (MDH) said on Wednesday.
Research conducted by the organization found that adult Minnesotans living in households with annual incomes less than $35,000—roughly one in four people—had a diabetes rate of 12.5 percent. Meanwhile, the rate for those living in households earning more than $35,000 per year was 5 percent.
“This research highlights the close links between health, income and financial stability,” Minnesota health commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a statement. “It’s an unhealthy cycle in which low income can contribute to getting diabetes, and having diabetes can limit a person’s earnings and ability to work.”
Today, nearly 125,000 adult diabetic Minnesotans are living in low-income households, according to the report. Because of the disease, these working-age Minnesotans are more likely to retire early and have less earnings than their counterparts without diabetes.
Additionally, data collected during the study indicates that more than one in three diabetic adults in Minnesota are not working, meaning they are unable to work, are retired or have chosen not to work. Only about one in 10 people without the disease are non-working.
The reason for the disparity, according to MDH and others, is the financial burden of being diabetic.
“Every day in our work, we see how financial barriers can make it more difficult for people to avoid or manage diabetes,” Susan Klimek, American Diabetes Association area director for Minnesota and North Dakota, said in a statement. “To help with these challenges, we are focused on advocating for affordable access to screenings, medications and health care, community changes that promote healthy eating and physical activity and efforts that support people in the workplace.”
The state’s Department of Human Services said it would also work to prevent diabetes by increasing access to prevention programs for low-income Minnesotans and removing coverage limits among providers.