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Socioeconomic Inequalities in Insulin Initiation Among Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Quasi-Experimental Nationwide Register Study

Julkaistu 11.8.2022



Inequalities in access to care can translate to or strengthen existing inequalities in health if people of lower socioeconomic positions do not have equal access to care. I study insulin initiation among individuals with type 2 diabetes and examine whether a reform increasing the co-payment of non-insulin antidiabetics in Finland in 2017 had an inequitable effect on the initiation. In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, insulin is recommended only in later stages and remains covered by the National Health Insurance at a rate of 100%.

Data and methods

I evaluated the effect of the reform with Cox proportional hazard modelling using nationwide person-level register data from 2011 to 2019. Exploiting a quasi-experimental design rising from the introduction of the reform allows for consideration of causality.


I found that the risk of insulin initiation was lower in the later years of the study period. Additionally, individuals in lower socioeconomic positions had a higher risk of initiation. However, I did not find inequalities in how the reform affected the risk of insulin initiation between income quintiles.


Co-payments are unlikely to be the most influential factor behind persisting inequalities in insulin initiation among individuals with type 2 diabetes in Finland. Lower risk in the later years aligns with developing treatment practices of type 2 diabetes.

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Hanna Rättö

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Rättö, H. (2022). Socioeconomic inequalities in insulin initiation among individuals with type 2 diabetes: A quasi-experimental nationwide register study. SSM - population health, 19, 101178.

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