Race and Referral to Diabetes Education in Primary Care Patients With Prediabetes and Diabetes

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The Diabetes Educator


Purpose The purpose of the study was to determine whether there are any race-related disparities in the prevalence of provisions for diabetes education in primary care clinics for patients with diabetes and prediabetes. A retrospective cross-sectional study of 3967 patients aged 14 to >89 years with prediabetes and diabetes. Medical record data from patient encounters within primary care clinics at a large academic medical health system between July 1, 2008, and July 31, 2013, were used to determine rates of referral for diabetes education by race. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess associations between race and referral to diabetes education. Separate regression models were computed for patients who were prediabetic and diabetic. Adjusted models included age, sex, A1C, health care utilization, smoking, and diagnosis for depression, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, vascular disease, and obesity. Compared to that of white patients, a significantly higher prevalence of African American patients with prediabetes were referred to diabetes education, and this association was also observed in patients with diabetes. In fully adjusted models, white patients with prediabetes were significantly less likely to be referred. Being African American independently increased the likelihood of referral for diabetes education in patients with prediabetes and patients with diabetes. After adjusting for patient comorbidities and risk factors, this association remained significant for patients with prediabetes. Additional research is needed to determine if provider beliefs and attitudes regarding race and diabetes education account for this association. © 2015, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

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