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Table 1 Baseline Characteristics of 1,002 Adults with Diabetes by Literacy Level

From: Literacy and health outcomes: a cross-sectional study in 1002 adults with diabetes

Characteristics All Subjects Inadequate Literacy Marginal Literacy Adequate Literacy P Value
Number of subjects (%) 1002 (100) 105 (10) 66 (7) 831 (83)  
STOFHLA Score, range 0–36 0–16 17–22 18–36  
S-TOFHLA Score, median (IQR) 34 (29–35) 0 (0–12) 20 (18–21) 35 (33–35) <0.001
Age, median (IQR), y 66 (57–74) 74 (67–79) 74 (67–79) 64 (56–72) <0.001
Female, No. (%) 545 (54) 51 (49) 34 (52) 460 (55) 0.37
White race, No. (%) 972 (97) 97 (94) 65 (98) 810 (98) 0.11
Married or living as married, No. (%) 626 (63) 50 (48) 41 (62) 535 (65) 0.005
Annual income < $30,000, No. (%) 545 (59) 85 (92) 43 (75) 417 (54) <0.001
Education, No. (%)      
   Some high school or less 245 (25) 72 (69) 31 (48) 142 (17) <0.001
   High school graduate 354 (36) 24 (23) 19 (30) 311 (38)  
   College graduate/some college 305 (31) 6 (6) 11 (17) 288 (35)  
   Graduate education 91 (9) 2 (2) 3 (5) 86 (10)  
Insurance, No. (%)*      
   Private insurance 582 (58) 37 (36) 33 (51) 512 (62) <0.001
   Medicare insurance 594 (60) 91 (88) 58 (89) 445 (54) <0.001
   Medicaid insurance 212 (21) 48 (47) 14 (22) 150 (18) <0.001
   Military or VA insurance 51 (5) 3 (3) 6 (9) 42 (5) 0.19
   No insurance 24 (2) 0 (0) 2 (3) 22 (3) 0.19
Alcohol intake >1dk/wk, No. (%) 194 (20) 10 (10) 8 (12) 176 (22) 0.003
Years with diabetes, median (IQR) 6.8 (3–14) 9.5 (4–20) 10.5 (4–20) 6.3 (3–13) 0.01
Attended diabetes class, No. (%) 349 (35) 26 (25) 21 (32) 302 (37) 0.06
Treatments for diabetes, No. (%)      
   Diet alone 242 (24) 20 (19) 7 (11) 215 (26) < 0.001
   Oral hypoglycemic alone 574 (57) 64 (61) 44 (67) 466 (56)  
   Insulin alone 93 (9) 19 (18) 5 (8) 69 (8)  
   Insulin and oral agent 92 (9) 2 (2) 10 (15) 80 (10)  
Hypertension medication, No. (%) 834 (83) 91 (87) 61 (92) 682 (82) 0.06
Cholesterol medication, No. (%) 591 (59) 57 (54) 43 (65) 491 (59) 0.36
A1C, median (IQR) 6.9 (6.3–7.7) 6.9 (6.3–7.7) 6.8 (6.3–7.3) 6.9 (6.3–7.7) 0.50
Systolic Blood Pressure, median (IQR) 139 (127–151) 137 (123–159) 144 (131–155) 138 (127–150) 0.17
Diastolic Blood Pressure, median (IQR) 79 (71–85) 76 (68–83) 77 (68–84) 79 (72–86) 0.003
LDL-cholesterol, median (IQR) 99 (83–118) 99 (79–117) 94 (74–106) 99 (84–119) 0.06
Complications, No. (%)      
   Retinopathy 189(20) 29 (30) 21 (34) 139 (18) <0.001
   Nephropathy 44 (9) 8 (15) 0 (0) 36 (9) 0.11
   Gastroparesis 56 (6) 9 (9) 6 (10) 41 (6) 0.16
   Foot/leg problems 288 (31) 30 (30) 27 (44) 231 (30) 0.07
   Cerebrovascular disease 118 (12) 22 (21) 11 (17) 85 (10) 0.003
   Coronary artery disease 194 (19) 32 (30) 18 (27) 144 (17) 0.002
Depression; PHQ > 5, No. (%); N = 589 195 (33) 24 (40) 14 (54) 157 (31) 0.03
Depression score (0–27), median (IQR) 2 (0–6) 3 (1–8) 5 (2–7) 2 (0–6) 0.04
  1. *Many subjects had more than one health insurance type.
  2. †Fisher's Exact test was used for categorical variables; The Kruskal-Wallis test, adjusted for ties, was used for continuous variables.
  3. Abbreviations: Glycated hemoglobin (A1C); Interquartile range (IQR); Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL); Number (No); Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ).