The social inequality gradient in the prognosis of diabetes is well-established but it is unclear whether this inequality gradient extends to the use of general practice among persons with diabetes.
A nationwide, population-based cohort study was conducted including 137,492 persons with incident diabetes aged 40-79 years and 687,460 reference persons with no history of diabetes matched on gender and age. Information on diabetes was obtained from the National Diabetes Register, socioeconomic position (SEP) from Statistics Denmark and number of general practice consultations from the National Health Insurance Service Registry. Consultation rates for different SEP-groups during the first year after index day were compared.
Overall, persons with diabetes had 4.8 (95%CI: 4.7-4.8) more consultations in general practice during the first year after their diagnosis than reference persons with no history of diabetes. This additional consultation rate increased with decreasing SEP, e.g. 5.8 (95%CI: 5.6-6.0) for women aged 40-54 years with the lowest educational level and 4.9 (95%CI: 4.7-5.1) for women with the highest educational level.
Persons with diabetes had nearly five additional consultations with their general practitioner during the first year after their diagnosis and the number was higher for those with the lowest SEP.