Socioeconomic inequalities affect the use of hypertension and type 2 diabetes management services

Large socioeconomic inequalities were found in the utilisation of hypertension and T2D management services in Indonesia. Improving affordability, availability and approachability of services is crucial to reduce such inequalities.

Socioeconomic inequalities have a significant impact on the utilisation of hypertension and type 2 diabetes (T2D) management services in the Indonesian population, as well as education level and geographical location, as shown by a recent study published in the Tropical Medicine & International Health journal.

This Cross‐sectional study used data from the 2014 Indonesia Family Life Survey (N= 30,762 for hypertension; N = 6,758 for T2D). Socioeconomic status was measured by household consumption. The prevalence of hypertension and T2D was determined using internationally standardized clinical measurement, while disease management was defined by participation in screening and the current use of medication. The relative index of inequality (RII) was used to estimate inequalities, adjusted to education level and geographical location.

The authors observed low rates of screening participation for T2D and low medication use in both hypertension and T2D. We found socioeconomic inequalities in screening participation for hypertension (RII 2.68, 95% CI 2.42–2.96) and T2D (RII 7.30, 95% CI 5.48–9.72) and also for medication use in hypertension (RII 3.09, 95% CI 2.28–4.18) and T2D (RII 2.81, 95% CI 1.09–7.27). Education level contributed to socioeconomic inequalities in screening utilization for both hypertension and T2D. Geographical location contributed to inequalities in screening utilization and medication use for T2D. Socioeconomic inequalities in medication use for hypertension and T2D were larger among men than women.

The authors concluded that ” improving affordability, availability, and approachability of [health] services is crucial to reduce such inequalities”.

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