Association of a housing based individual socioeconomic status measure with diabetic control in primary care practices

Published:November 19, 2021DOI:


      • HOUSES is a validated housing-based individual-level socioeconomic status measure.
      • The lowest quartile of HOUSES is associated with lower rates of diabetic control.
      • HOUSES identifies patients at risk for poor diabetic control and may allow targeted interventions.



      Socioeconomic status (SES) is an important variable that impacts healthcare outcomes. However, grouped SES data is not always representative of all members and it is difficult to obtain individual level data. A validated individual housing-based measure termed HOUSES is available, but has not been studied in diabetes. We hypothesize that patients in the lowest HOUSES quartile are associated with worse diabetic control as measured by the D5.


      A retrospective cohort study of 5463 patients with diabetes in 5 patient centered medical home practices in southeast Minnesota was conducted. HOUSES is a validated, standardized housing-based SES measure constructed from publicly available county assessor’s office data. Diabetic control was assessed by the D5 (HgbA1c < 8, BP < 140/90, statin use, nonsmoking status, and antiplatelet therapy).


      In the lowest HOUSES quartile, more patients had an uncontrolled D5 (56.4%) than any of the other quartiles (49.2%, 49.8%, 49.6% respectively, p < 0.001). A multivariate analysis shows the adjusted odds of D5 control for patients in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th HOUSES quartiles as opposed to the 1st quartile are 1.28, 1.21, and 1.20, respectively.


      Lower SES as represented by the first quartile of HOUSES index, is associated with lower odds of D5 control and thus worse diabetic outcomes. Using the HOUSES index to identify these individuals in a patient centered medical home might prove useful in deciding where to focus diabetic control efforts.


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