1 Research Programme on Health and Morbidity in Denmark, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 unknown3 Health Promotion and Prevention, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU4 Health Promotion and Prevention, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
Aims: Poor social support and lack of social network are well-established risk factors for morbidity and mortality in general populations. Good social relations, such as social support and network contacts, are associated with better self-management and fewer psychosocial problems in persons with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether persons with type 2 diabetes have poorer social relations than the general population. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in three settings: a specialist diabetes clinic (SDC) (n = 1084), a web panel (WP) consisting of persons with type 2 diabetes (n = 1491) and a sample from the 2010 Danish Health and Morbidity Survey, representative of the general population (n = 15,165). We compared social relations using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Compared to the general population, persons with type 2 diabetes more often lived without a partner (SDC, OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.49-2.06; WP, OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.43-1.87), met with family less than once a month (SDC, OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.40-2.27; WP, OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.94-2.84) and were less certain they could count on help from others in case of illness (WP, OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.08-1.41). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that persons with type 2 diabetes have poorer social relations than the general population. From a public health point of view, special attention is needed with regards to strengthening existing networks and establishing alternative networks among persons with type 2 diabetes.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. Supplement, 2013, Vol 41, Issue 4, p. 340-343