Over the last 5 years, individual diabetes management costs have increased 26%, with the average diabetes patient spending $16,752 per year and those with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) paying a disproportionately higher amount than their type 2 counterparts. With T1DM diagnoses increasing by around 40,000 each year and the majority of diagnoses among adolescents and emerging adults approaching financial independence with limited funds, young T1DM patients and their partners may experience relational strain that often accompanies financial stress. Using data from a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 young married couples involved in the CREATE study, we identified 16 couples wherein one partner had T1DM. Among these, 8 wives had T1DM and 8 husbands had T1DM. For comparisons, we matched these couples with others in the CREATE study based on household income, husband and wife education, and husband and wife approximate number of weekly hours worked. A total of 116 matches were found, for a total of 132 couples in the analytic sample. Among the 16 couples with T1DM, half earned less than $50,000 annually (mean = $50,000-60,000/year). Mean comparisons indicated that both partners in couples with T1DM reported higher levels of financial distress and worry compared to matched couples, albeit not at a statistically significant level. Financial distress and worry were both significant predictors of relationship quality a year later for all couples in the study. However, associations between financial distress and relationship quality did not differ for couples with T1DM. Additional research is needed to explore specific diabetes supplies costs and how these may relate to relationship quality.


J.B. Yorgason: None. J. Saylor: None. S. Rellaford: None. M.S. Porter: None.


Brigham Young University

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