"Receipt of diabetes education varied significantly by race-ethnicity only in the less-than-$20,000 income group," Levine said. "At incomes of $20,000 or more, both Hispanics and blacks had 40 percent lower odds of daily SMBG compared to whites. At incomes of less than $20,000, however, the odds of daily SMBG decreased by 70 percent for Hispanics compared to whites, but did not change for blacks."
These racial and ethnic disparities in self-monitoring of blood glucose were not fully explained by demographic characteristics such as health insurance, health status, or diabetes-related measures such as diabetes education, disease duration or end-organ damage, Levine said.
The findings suggest that poverty significantly worsens self-monitoring of blood glucose and receipt of diabetes education among Hispanics. This means that income must be "explicitly considered when assessing SMBG performance and designing SMBG interventions for Hispanics with insulin-treated diabetes," Levine said.
In 2005, 15.1 million U.S. adults (7.3 percent of the adult population) had diagnosed diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. Of those, 13.2 percent were non-Hispanic black females and 10.7 percent were non-Hispanic black males; 11 percent were Mexican-American males and 10.9 percent were Mexican-American females; and 6.7 percent were white males and 5.6 percent were white females.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes control.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, March 14, 2008
All rights reserved