Do Health Literacy Levels Indicate T2D Risk?

A low level of health literacy may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and should be considered in prevention initiatives, according to the findings of a new study published in The Diabetes Educator. Data were gathered using the Health Literacy Questionnaire and Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool, administered in an online survey. Of the 1,279 adults who completed the survey, 52% were female, and the mean age was 61 years. The majority of respondents had a medium (42.4%) or high (46.9%) risk of T2D development. The areas where health literacy scores were the lowest included “critical appraisal of health information” and “navigating the health care system.” In controlled analysis, the following were significant T2D risk factors: being unemployed, having at least one chronic condition, or having a mental health condition. T2D risk was also greater among respondents who scored low in any one of the following health literacy domains: critical appraisal of health information, navigating the healthcare system, actively managing health, social support, and healthcare provider support.

Source: O’Meara L, Williams SL, Ames K, et al. Diabetes Educ. 2019;doi: 10.1177/0145721719857548