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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Discrimination and stigma among people with type 2 diabetes in the workplace: prejudice against illness or obesity?

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OBJECTIVES: Both obesity/overweight and type 2 diabetes (T2D) have been independently identified as being the basis for stigma and discrimination in the workplace. The study sought to test the hypothesis that people with T2D are at increased risk of discrimination and adverse self-reported psychosocial work environment.

STUDY DESIGN: This study was based on survey data from 2415 working Danes with T2D (n = 586) and without T2D (n = 1829) recruited from online panels. Single self-reported items were used to obtain information about diabetes status, exposure to discrimination and other individual factors.

METHODS: Descriptive statistics and linear regression were used for the data analysis.

RESULTS: Six percent of the participants with T2D had experienced some type of discrimination at work, which was ascribed to their diabetes. People with diabetes had higher levels of effort-reward imbalance. When adjusting for body mass index, differences in relation to effort-reward imbalance were accounted for.

CONCLUSIONS: People with T2D reported relatively poor psychosocial working environment compared with the general working population, but the difference was removed by adjusting for overweight/obesity. This indicates that T2D alone is not a source of stigma and discrimination in the context of work. Levels of perceived discrimination were notably lower than expected among people with diabetes as a whole, but a number of people, nonetheless, continue to be exposed to the destructive effects of discrimination in the context of work.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume180
Pages (from-to)100-101
Number of pages2
ISSN1741-3842
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020

ID: 59118066