A steady job, and not the medical insurance that comes with it, encourages people to manage their diabetes, a new study says.

In 2010, about 26 million Americans had diabetes, a large number of who are still part of the workforce.

The latest study from University of Michigan found that employed people diagnosed with diabetes are better at diabetes management than people who are unemployed.

"Improved use of medications is more than just a facet of having medical insurance. It is linked to bigger issues such as being employed, periods of joblessness or a personal financial strain," lead author Rajesh Balkrishnan, of the University of Michigan's College of Pharmacy and School of Public Health, said.

According to Balkrishnan, access to medical care and a healthy, active lifestyle can help people manage diabetes.

For the study, researchers gathered data from the 2001-2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) of about 2,256 people aged around 50 years.In the study, adherence to diabetes management was higher in people who were employed than those who were unemployed. About 34 percent of the study group was unemployed.

Reasons for lack of adherence were stress due to unemployment, lack of access to medical care and financial strain.

"Workforce participation for adults with diabetes and other chronic conditions command the attention of public policymakers, particularly when prioritizing resource allocation. As a starting position, health care providers and systems need standard processes to identify individuals facing financial pressure and their vulnerability to lower medication adherence," he said.

The study is published in the journal Health Outcomes Research in Medicine.