Socio-economic factors may play a role in determining who develops diabetes

The income gap between England's richest and poorest citizens is leading to dramatic health disparities, according to a new national survey. These inequalities are showing most strongly in the number of poor who have type 2 diabetes.

The Health Survey for England, which is conducted annually by the country's National Centre for Social Research, found that women in the lowest income bracket are four times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those in the top income bracket.

Additionally, both men and women are significantly more likely to have common risk factors for diabetes, including tobacco use and kidney disease. Researchers said that more work needs to be done to address the inequalities.

"This survey shows that there are still marked inequalities in health between different socio-economic groups," said Vasant Hirani, who led the survey. "We need to reduce inequalities and improve health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable groups in our society - a real challenge in the current economic climate."

Hirani added that government educational efforts could go a long way toward reducing the number of people who develop type 2 diabetes.
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