Blacks, Hispanics Less Likely Than Whites To Manage Diabetes Properly, Study Finds
"Mechanisms for Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Glycemic Control in Middle-aged and Older Americans in the Health and Retirement Study," Archives of Internal Medicine: For the study, Michele Heisler -- of the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and a professor at the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine -- and colleagues used a nationally representative sample of 1,901 diabetics over age 55 who in 2003 responded to a survey by mail. Of the respondents, 1,233 completed valid at-home blood sugar testing kits. Researchers examined sociodemographic and clinical factors, access to and quality of diabetes care and self-management behaviors and attitudes. Blacks had worse medication adherence than whites, while Hispanics were more likely to experience diabetes-specific emotional distress. Researchers attributed the disparity partly to socioeconomic, clinical, health care, and self-management factors. In addition, the study said that one of the "most significant independent predictors of glycemic control" was medication adherence (Heisler et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 9/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.