Background: Intervention of diabetes care education with regular laboratory check-up in outpatient visits showed long-term benefits to reduce the risk of macrovascular complications among people with type 2 diabetes. However, research on the level of a priori health knowledge to the prevention of diabetic complications in community settings has been scarce. We therefore aimed to investigate the association of health knowledge and stroke incidence in patients with type 2 diabetes in Taiwan. Methods: A nationally representative sample of general Taiwanese population was selected using a multistage systematic sampling process from Taiwan National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2005. Subjects were interviewed by a standardized face-to-face questionnaire in the survey, obtaining information of demographics, socioeconomic status, family medical history, obesity, health behaviors, and 15-item health knowledge assessment. The NHIS dataset was linked to Taiwan National Health Insurance claims data to retrieve the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in NHIS participants at baseline and identify follow-up incidence of stroke from 2005 to 2013. Univariate and multivariate Cox regressions were used to estimate the effect of baseline health knowledge level to the risk of stroke incidence among this group of people with type 2 diabetes. Results: A total of 597 diabetic patients with a mean age of 51.28 years old and nearly half of males were analyzed. During the 9-year follow-up period, 65 new stroke cases were identified among them. Kaplan-Meier curves comparing the three groups of low/moderate/high knowledge levels revealed a statistical significance (p-value of log-rank test <0.01). After controlling for potential confounders, comparing to the group of low health knowledge level, the relative risk of stroke was significantly lower for those with moderate (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.33-1.19; p-value = 0.15) and high level of health knowledge (AHR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.22-0.86; p-value = 0.02), with a significant linear trend (p-value = 0.02). Conclusions: An exposure-response gradient of moderate to high health knowledge levels to the prevention of stroke incidence among people with type 2 diabetes in community was found with 9 years of follow-up in Taiwan. Development and delivery of health education on stroke prevention to people with type 2 diabetes are warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine