Purpose: Little research has focused on the social patterning of diabetes among African Americans. We examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of diabetes among African Americans.
Methods: Education, income and occupation were examined among 4,303 participants (2,726 women and 1,577 men). Poisson regression estimated relative probabilities (RP) of diabetes outcomes by SES.
Results: The prevalence of diabetes was 19.6% in women and 15.9% in men. Diabetes awareness, treatment, and control were 90.0%, 86.8%, and 39.2% in women, respectively, and 88.2%, 84.4%, and 35.9% in men, respectively. In adjusted models, low-income men and women had greater probabilities of diabetes than high-income men and women (RP, 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28-2.92; and RP, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.04-1.74, respectively). Lack of awareness was associated with low education and low occupation in women (RP, 2.28; 95%CI 1.01-5.18; and RP, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.08-6.33, respectively) but not in men. Lack of treatment was associated with low education in women. Diabetes control was not patterned by SES.
Conclusions: Diabetes prevalence is patterned by SES, and awareness and treatment are patterned by SES in women but not men. Efforts to prevent diabetes in African Americans need to address the factors that place those of low SES at higher risk.
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