Ethnic disparities in diabetes care: myth or reality?

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2008 Apr;15(2):128-34. doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3282f5dbb8.


Purpose of review: Ethnic disparities in disease management have been clearly documented across the medical field, but appear to be an even greater issue with regards to chronic disease. While various gaps in the provision of quality care persist, there have been some improvements in addressing some of those challenges. The purpose of this review is to highlight some of the persistent gaps in the provision of healthcare, with a focus on disparities seen in vulnerable populations, as well as opportunities to address those disparities.

Recent findings: Disparities in the provision of health persist, especially in vulnerable populations. There is a growing awareness to actively address these issues. A number of projects have been undertaken to assess their impact on the provision of quality healthcare and consequent outcomes, with mixed results. For vulnerable populations, it appears that individualized, repeated, culturally sensitive interventions that involve the community from their inception have had the greatest positive impact.

Summary: A growing body of data is emerging to not only highlight the disparities in healthcare we still confront in the USA, but to also implement strategies to successfully address and resolve those challenges.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Minority Groups*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States / epidemiology