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Social Disparities in the Risk of Potentially Avoidable Hospitalization for Diabetes Mellitus: an Analysis with Linked Census and Hospital Data

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There is an increasing recognition of the value of linked administrative data sets for applied demographic and health research. We use a prospective population-based cohort approach to take advantage of the 2006 Canadian Census data linked to 3 years of hospital records in order to investigate the social determinants of diabetes hospitalizations. We offer compelling evidence of the social gradient in health, with results highlighting decreasing risk of potentially avoidable hospitalization associated with increasing household income. We also found consistently higher risks of hospitalization and 6-month rehospitalization among persons of Aboriginal identity, after controlling for many individual and community-level factors.


On reconnaît de plus en plus la valeur de l’appariement de données administratives pour la recherche appliquée en démographie et en santé. Nous utilisons dans cet article une approche de cohorte prospective, qui tire parti de l’appariement des données du Recensement canadien de 2006 et de trois années d’enregistrements d’hospitalisation pour étudier les déterminants sociaux des hospitalisations liées au diabète. Nous offrons des preuves convaincantes des inégalités sociales en matière de santé, avec des résultats soulignant le risque décroissant d’hospitalisation potentiellement évitable suivant l’augmentation progressive du quintile de revenu du ménage. Des risques toujours plus élevés d’hospitalisation et de réadmission durant les six mois suivant l’hospitalisation initiale ont été aussi constatés chez les personnes d’identité autochtone, après avoir tenu compte de nombreux facteurs individuels et communautaires.

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The authors would like to thank Adele Balram and Margaret Holland for research assistance with data preparation and modeling, and review of the methodological descriptions. The data analysis was conducted at the NB-RDC, which is part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).


Financial support for this research was received from Diabetes Canada, the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, and the Maritime Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Support Unit. The services and activities provided by the NB-RDC are made possible by the financial or in-kind support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Statistics Canada, and the University of New Brunswick.

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Correspondence to Neeru Gupta or Dan Lawson Crouse.

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The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors alone. The funders and partners had no role in study design, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The study complied with the University of New Brunswick’s Research Ethics Board, which does not require an internal institutional review for research projects using data accessed through the NB-RDC.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Gupta, N., Crouse, D.L. Social Disparities in the Risk of Potentially Avoidable Hospitalization for Diabetes Mellitus: an Analysis with Linked Census and Hospital Data. Can. Stud. Popul. 46, 145–159 (2019).

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