Disparities in diabetes management practice between racial and ethnic groups in the United States

Diabetes Educ. Jul-Aug 2004;30(4):665-75. doi: 10.1177/014572170403000418.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between race/ethnicity and self-management practices of people with diabetes.

Methods: Analyses were based on data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Contingency tables and multiple logistic regression were used to assess the data.

Results: Frequency distributions of selected diabetes management variables significantly varied across levels of race/ethnicity. These differences persisted after adjusting for current age, age at diagnosis, gender, marital status, income, and education. Analyses revealed that Hispanics, compared with whites, were more likely to take oral agents to control their blood glucose, less likely to monitor their blood glucose daily, and less likely to check their feet for sores or irritation. There was no difference among the racial/ethnic groups use having participated in a diabetes education class.

Conclusions: Health literacy and cultural factors, including the influence of family, beliefs about diabetes, and access and utilization of health care, may influence Hispanic diabetes management behaviors. Understanding these influences is essential to the development of programs, policies, and other strategies that are culturally appropriate and relevant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Humans
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Blood Glucose