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Minorities, Poor Have Tougher Time Monitoring Diabetes
Date:3/14/2008

Study found those who used insulin fared worse than white counterparts

FRIDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Minority and low-income Americans with insulin-treated diabetes are less likely to monitor their blood glucose than other diabetics, a new study shows.

The researchers examined data on 16,630 Hispanic, black and white adults aged 19 and older with insulin-treated diabetes to come to this conclusion.

At every income level, fewer Hispanics and blacks reported daily self-monitoring of blood glucose than whites. The study was to be presented Friday at the American Heart Association's Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"Minority and financially vulnerable adults with insulin-treated diabetes appear to have lower reported rates of self-monitoring of blood glucose [SMBG] -- a vital disease management component," study author Dr. Deborah A. Levine, an assistant professor in general internal medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"Efforts to improve diabetes control, including the collection and use of SMBG data in Hispanic and black populations with diabetes [particularly those on insulin], are warranted given that Hispanics and blacks have a higher frequency of diabetes-related complications compared to whites. We need to better understand income's role in racial and ethnic disparities in SMBG to offer effective programs and policies to improve SMBG by minorities," Levine said.

The study found that among those with annual household incomes of $20,000 and higher, SMBG rates were 85 percent for whites, 78 percent for Hispanics, and 77 percent for blacks. Among those with household incomes of less than $20,000, SMBG rates were 85 percent for whites, 79 percent for blacks, and 65 percent for Hispanics.

The researchers also found that among those with household incomes of less
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