But when the researchers analyzed data from study participants who were taking medications to control their blood sugar, the difference between the mean A1C for whites and the means for the other ethnic groups was large. White people had a mean A1C of 7.22 points, while the levels for blacks and Latinos were 8.07 and 8.14, respectively. People with diabetes are typically prescribed medications for glucose control only when diet and exercise no longer keep their levels in check.
An even bigger difference was seen when the researchers looked at the 286 participants on medications who were between ages 55 and 64 too young for Medicare coverage. Whites had an average A1C of 7.46, but blacks were at 8.96 and Latinos were at 8.91. By contrast, there was a much smaller difference in average A1C among members of the three groups over age 65.
The researchers then performed a statistical analysis that took into account all of the available information about all the participants who were taking medication everything from their education level and annual household income to their mental health, insurance coverage status, quality of health care, medication regimens, exercise, diet, as well as their attitudes and behaviors about taking medications, monitoring blood sugar levels, and other key diabetes self-care tasks. The data also included participants answers to a questionnaire that assesses a persons emotional response to living with diabetes, and a questionnaire about how they were managing their disease including how well they adhered to the diabetes medications prescribed by their doctors.
A multvariate statistical analysis then allowed the researchers to separate out factors associated with higher A1C levels, and to assess how those factors in turn were associated with ethnicity. It also allowed them to adjust for differences in income, education, and all the other factors.
In the end, the factors that showed
|Contact: Kara Gavin|
University of Michigan Health System