A Good Job Equals Good Health for Diabetics

Recent research appears to show that having a steady job enables diabetics to care for themselves better. The study, done by the University of Michigan, found that diabetics who were working age were more likely to stick to their diabetes regimen. The study also found that those who had diabetes and were working age were more likely to be unemployed than those who did not have the disease.

The study results did not show a clear link between medication adherence and medical insurance, which surprised the researchers. Lead scientist, Rajesh Balkrishnan from the U of M College of Pharmacy and School of Public Health, said:

"Improved use of medications is more than just a facet of having medical insurance. It is linked to bigger issues such as being employed, periods of joblessness or a personal financial strain."

Changes in Workplace Policy

The study highlights the need for employers to make employee health a priority. With improved workplace policy in place, for those with chronic conditions like diabetes and those without, employers gain better productivity and less lost time at work. Balkrishnan said:

"Workforce participation for adults with diabetes and other chronic conditions command the attention of public policymakers, particularly when prioritizing resource allocation. As a starting position, health care providers and systems need standard processes to identify individuals facing financial pressure and their vulnerability to lower medication adherence."

Diabetes was not a focus of the research per se; the researchers chose to study the disease because it is so widespread. Balkrishnan said that it is one of the most common chronic conditions in the U.S. among working adults, the eighth most costly disease to treat, and the seventh leading cause of death globally. The yearly cost for diabetic treatment in 2007 was nearly $175 million. This research may lead to policies that not only save money, but save lives as well.

Sources: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829141811.htm

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