More adults with diabetes are getting flu shots

Research Activities, June 2010, No. 358

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that persons who are at high risk of having serious flu complications get vaccinated each year. This includes all persons 65 years of age and older and persons with chronic conditions like diabetes that weaken their ability to fight flu and its complications. The proportion of Americans with diabetes aged 18 to 64 who reported getting flu shots the previous year rose from 40 percent to 50.5 percent between 2000 and 2007, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In contrast, the proportion of seniors aged 65 and older with diabetes who reported getting a flu shot within the previous year remained stable at about 70 percent.

AHRQ's analysis also found that between 2000 and 2007:

  • The immunization rate for people aged 18 to 64 with diabetes who were covered only by public insurance, such as Medicaid, surged by 14 percent (39 percent to 53 percent), followed closely by a 12 percent increase among those with private insurance (41 percent to 53 percent).
  • The immunization rate for diabetes patients aged 18 to 64 without insurance did not change, remaining at about one-third.
  • For diabetes patients aged 65 and over with Medicare, either alone or with supplemental private or public insurance, the immunization rates were stable, remaining at about two-thirds to three-fourths.

These findings were based on 2000 and 2007 data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Quality of Care Summary Data Tables (; go to Table 1.5). MEPS collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population about their health care use, expenses, access to services, health status, and the quality of the health care they obtained.

Current as of June 2010
Internet Citation: More adults with diabetes are getting flu shots: Research Activities, June 2010, No. 358. June 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.