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Socio-Economic Differences in the Association between Self-Reported and Clinically Present Diabetes and Hypertension: Secondary Analysis of a Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Lookup NU author(s): Gerald Tompkins, Dr Lynne Forrest



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BackgroundDiabetes and hypertension are key risk factors for coronary heart disease. Prevalence of both conditions is socio-economically patterned. Awareness of presence of the conditions may influence risk behaviour and use of preventative services. Our aim was to examine whether there were socio-economic differences in awareness of hypertension and diabetes in a UK population.MethodData from the Scottish Health Survey was used to compare self-reported awareness of hypertension and diabetes amongst those found on examination to have these conditions, by socioeconomic position (SEP) (measured by occupation, education and income). Odds ratios of self-reported awareness against presence, and the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of self-reporting as a measure of the presence of the condition, were calculated.ResultsPresence and self-reported awareness of both conditions increased as SEP decreased, on most measures. There was only one significant difference in awareness by SEP once other factors had been taken into account. Sensitivity showed that those in the most disadvantaged groups were most likely to self-report awareness of their hypertension, and specificity showed that those in the least disadvantaged groups were most likely to self-report awareness of its absence. There were few differences of note for diabetes.ConclusionWe found no consistent pattern in the associations between SEP and the presence and self-reported awareness of hypertension and diabetes amongst those with these conditions. Without evidence of differences, it is important that universal approaches continue to be applied to the identification and management of those at risk of these and other conditions that underpin cardiovascular disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tompkins G, Forrest LF, Adams J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLOS One

Year: 2015

Volume: 10

Issue: 10

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 14/10/2015

Acceptance date: 19/09/2015

Date deposited: 06/01/2016

ISSN (print): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139928


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