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Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Jan;31(1):27-34. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0862.

Diabetes's 'health shock' to schooling and earnings: increased dropout rates and lower wages and employment in young adults.

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  • 1Division of Health Policy and Administration, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. jason.fletcher@yale.edu

Abstract

Despite a growing diabetes crisis, the nonmedical implications for young adults have gone virtually unexplored. We investigated the effects of diabetes on two key outcomes for this age group-schooling and earnings-and found that it delivers an increasingly common "health shock" to both. We identified effects in several measures of educational attainment, including a high school dropout rate that was six percentage points higher than among young adults without the disease. We also found lower employment and wages: A person with diabetes can conservatively expect to lose more than $160,000 over his or her working life, compared to a peer without the disease. For young adults with diabetes, having a parent with diabetes also leads to poorer outcomes than if one more parents do not have the disease-for example, reducing the likelihood of attending college by four to six percentage points, even after the child's health status is controlled for. These results highlight the urgency of attacking this growing health problem, as well as the need for measures such as in-school screening for whether diabetes's impact on individual learning and performance begins before the classic manifestations of clinical diabetes appear.

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PMID:
22232091
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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