The Canadian health care system calls for all provinces and territories to operate a statewide health insurance program, financed primarily by the country's central government. The result is that every Canadian citizen has access to free, government-provided health care.

But despite the free health care, low income households are still at a greater risk for some health issues. According to a new study, children with type 1 diabetes who grow up in poor households typically have higher-than-normal glycated hemoglobin levels. The researchers believe that this is an indicator that these households are not properly able to control blood glucose levels in kids.

"Our study highlights a marked disparity between the rich and the poor in an important health outcome for children with type 1 diabetes, despite free access to health care," said Johnny Deladoëy, lead author and researcher at the University of Montreal's Sainte-Justine Research Center.

Glycated hemoglobin is used to measure sugar levels in the blood over time, and in type 1 diabetic children the levels of glycated hemoglobin are considerably high.

Between 1980 and 2001, the researchers collected data from 1,766 children with type 1 diabetes and the estimated household income from Statistic Canada. The study ultimately formed the first look into type 1 diabetic conditions in the context of free health care (previous studies have only looked at pay-for-service systems, such as that found in the U.S.).

"These [results] confirm our clinical impression that the most important factor correlated with the treatment of type 1 diabetes is household income,"Deladoëy said.

According to 2011 Statistics Canada, in teens between the ages of 12 and 19, 18,754 boys are diagnosed with diabetes while 11,885 girls also have the condition.

"Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease requiring multiple daily insulin injections and blood tests throughout the individual's life. Our study suggests that there should be greater support to children with type 1 diabetes who live in low income areas; this could include, for instance, increasing the number and length of visits from social workers," Deladoëy said.