OBJECTIVE - To compare employment and income of working-age (18-64 years) people with and without diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We conducted a prospective population-based cohort study based in Manitoba, Canada, consisting of 25,554 individuals without diabetes and 608 with diabetes, of whom 242 had a complication of the disease. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of employment and income variables were determined. RESULTS - Diabetic individuals with complications were twice as likely not to be in the labor force (OR 2.07 [95% CI 1.49-2.87]) than nondiabetic individuals. This difference was not evident for diabetic individuals without complications (OR 1.20 [0.93-1.56]). Diabetic individuals without complications had incomes similar to those of nondiabetic individuals. The total income of diabetic individuals with complications was 72% of the income of nondiabetic individuals. When the analysis was limited to only those in the labor force, diabetic workers with complications still had only 85% the employment income of nondiabetic people. Diabetic individuals with complications received 58% more social support income. In a separate analysis of aboriginal individuals, complicated diabetes was not associated with an increased likelihood of not working or a decrease in employment income. CONCLUSIONS - In general, complications of diabetes and the absence of the disease affect the ability to earn income in Manitoba, Canada. This effect was not identified in the aboriginal population of the province.
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