Danish Research: Diabetes more common among the unemployed – The Post

Danish Research: Diabetes more common among the unemployed

Advocacy organisation calling for new action plan

People with diabetes are 22 percent more likely to be unemployed than someone without the disease (photo: iStock)
August 20th, 2015 12:22 pm| by Christian W

A new Danish research report has revealed that diabetes is more prevalent among people who are unemployed, in early retirement or have a lower annual income.

The research, the result of the three-year independent research project Diabetes Impact Study, was presented by the diabetes organisation Diabetesforeningen.

The results showed that people with diabetes are 22 percent more likely to be unemployed than someone without the disease, while 12 percent of people with diabetes opted for early retirement compared to just 5.4 percent of those without it.

“It’s fantastic we’ve got this study and now have more substantial knowledge about the challenges of diabetes,” said Henrik Nedergaard, the head of Diabetesforeningen. “But the figures are worrying.”

“These figures should lead to a radical change to diabetes efforts in Denmark because there is potential for improvement everywhere.”

READ MORE: Danes fatter than they think

New action plan
The report also unveiled that chronically-ill diabetics on average have a significantly lower annual income compared to people with the same level of education, because they are often unemployed or work part-time.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes costs Danish society over 13 billion kroner every year in loss of production due to sick leave, early retirement and lower wages, but a better early diagnosis of the illness would help save the majority of those costs.

Diabetesforeningen has called for a new national action plan for the area. The current plan dates back to 2003 and is considered obsolete.

Four central points highlighted by the association include finding and diagnosing the estimated 200,000 Danes who have diabetes without knowing it and a strengthening of standard GP practice.

Helping diabetes patients become more aware and educated about their illness is also considered important.