Walker, R. J., Garacci, E., Campbell, J. A., Harris, M., Mosley-Johnson, E., Egede, L. E.
Aim: To examine the relationship between multiple measures of financial hardship and glycemic control in older adults with diabetes. Methods: Using data from Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we investigated four measures of financial hardship: difficulty paying bills, ongoing financial strain, decreasing food intake due to money, and taking less medication due to cost. Using linear regression models, we investigated the relationship between each measure, and a cumulative score of hardships per person, on glycemic control (HbA1c). Results: After adjustment, a significant relationship existed with each increasing number of hardships associated with increasing HbA1c (0.09, [95%CI 0.04, 0.14]). Difficulty paying bills (0.25, [95%CI 0.14, 0.35]) and decreased medication usage due to cost (0.17, [95%CI 0.03, 0.31]) remained significantly associated with HbA1c. Conclusion: In older adults, difficulty paying bills and cost-related medication nonadherence is associated with glycemic control, and every additional financial hardship was associated with an increased HbA1c by nearly 0.1%.