Racial disparities in African Americans with diabetes: process and outcome mismatch

Am J Manag Care. 2012 Aug;18(8):407-13.


Background: Over the past 2 decades, numerous studies have demonstrated the existence of racial disparities in patient care in the United States. Specifically, African Americans with diabetes are less likely to have recommended process of care measures performed and outcome benchmarks for quality of care.

Objectives: To evaluate the delivery of diabetes care (processes and outcomes) associated with racial categories using a national web-based registry-the American Osteopathic Association Clinical Assessment Program (AOA-CAP).

Study design: A retrospective analysis of data retrieved from the AOA-CAP database on outcomes and process measures for diabetes.

Methods: A total of 10,699 Caucasian and African American patients who received diabetes care had data entered into the AOA-CAP registry between July 1, 2005, and October 30, 2010. African Americans represented 3123 patients (29%), Caucasians 7576 (71%). Demographic, process of care, and outcomes comparisons between ethnicities were carried out using ?2 and t tests. Composite measures of process and outcomes of diabetes care were created to investigate the effect of race on care.

Results: The process of care composite measure was significantly different among African American patients (P = .02) who were more likely to receive all indicated care than Caucasian patients (33.9% vs 31.6%). Evaluation of the composite outcome measure, which quantifies the percentage of patients achieving control of all 3 intermediate outcomes, was (P <.001) lower in African Americans than in Caucasians (8.1% vs 12.3%).

Conclusions: African American patients with diabetes were as likely or more likely to have recommended process of care measures performed. In spite of this, intermediate diabetes outcomes were still poorer in the same African American population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States