Why childhood-onset type 1 diabetes impacts labour market outcomes: a mediation analysis

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Aims/hypothesis: Previous studies show a negative effect of type 1 diabetes on labour market outcomes such as employment and earnings later in life. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying these effects. This study aims to analyse the mediating role of adult health, education, occupation and family formation. Methods: A total of 4179 individuals from the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Register and 16,983 individuals forming a population control group born between 1962 and 1979 were followed between 30 and 50 years of age. The total effect of having type 1 diabetes was broken down into a direct effect and an indirect (mediating) effect using statistical mediation analysis. We also analysed whether type 1 diabetes has different effects on labour market outcome between the sexes and across socioeconomic status. Results: Childhood-onset type 1 diabetes had a negative impact on employment (OR 0.68 [95% CI 0.62, 0.76] and OR 0.76 [95% CI 0.67, 0.86]) and earnings (−6%, p < 0.001 and −8%, p < 0.001) for women and men, respectively. Each of the mediators studied contributed to the total effect with adult health and occupational field accounting for the largest part. However, some of the effect could not be attributed to any of the mediators studied and was therefore likely related to other characteristics of the disease that hamper career opportunities. The effect of type 1 diabetes on employment and earnings did not vary significantly according to socioeconomic status of the family (parental education and earnings). Conclusions/interpretation: A large part of the effect of type 1 diabetes on the labour market is attributed to adult health but there are other important mediating factors that need to be considered to reduce this negative effect.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Umeå University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Endokrinologi och diabetes
  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


Sidor (från-till)342-353
Utgåva nummer2
Tidigt onlinedatum2017 nov 23
StatusPublished - 2018
Peer review utfördJa