Background: This study assessed gender differences in the relationship between financial barriers and Emergency Department (ED) visits due to diabetes in a sample of adults with diabetes.
Methods: Data from 1,278 patients (weighted=3,500,000) in the 2014 Health Center Patient Survey (HCPS) were analyzed. Financial barrier was measured by summing ‘yes’ responses from the following questions: “In the last 12 months, were you unable to get medical care, tests, or treatments you or a doctor believed necessary?.” and “In the last 12 months, were you unable to get prescription medicines you or a doctor believed necessary?.” ED visits due to diabetes were measured using the question: “In the past 12 months, have you been in the hospital or visited an emergency room because of diabetes?”. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between financial barriers and ED visits due to diabetes by gender.
Results: There was a statistically significant relationship between financial barriers and ED visits due to diabetes among men. In the adjusted model, the odds of ED visits due to diabetes was 5.66 times higher in men with one or more financial barrier than in men with no financial barrier (OR= 5.66, p=0.002) . Among women, financial barriers were not significantly associated with ED visits due to diabetes in the adjusted model.
Conclusions: Our study shows that financial barriers drive ED visits due to diabetes among men but not women. Policy interventions should be developed to target vulnerable groups with diabetes, and future studies should elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the differences observed in this study.
O.J.Akinboboye: None. L.E.Egede: None. A.Thorgerson: None. J.S.Williams: None.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases K24Dk093699 (PI: Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS) , R01DK118038 (PI: Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS) , and R01DK120861 (PI: Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS) and R21DK123720 (PI: Joni S. Williams, MD, MPH) .