Diabetes Self-Management Behaviors, Medical Care, Glycemic Control, and Self-Rated Health in U.S. Men by Race/Ethnicity

Am J Mens Health. 2016 Nov;10(6):NP99-NP108. doi: 10.1177/1557988315585590. Epub 2015 May 7.


Men, particularly minorities, have higher rates of diabetes as compared with their counterparts. Ongoing diabetes self-management education and support by specialists are essential components to prevent the risk of complications such as kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological impairments. Diabetes self-management behaviors, in particular, as diet and physical activity, have been associated with glycemic control in the literature. Recommended medical care for diabetes may differ by race/ethnicity. This study examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2007 to 2010 for men with diabetes (N = 646) from four racial/ethnic groups: Mexican Americans, other Hispanics, non-Hispanic Blacks, and non-Hispanic Whites. Men with adequate dietary fiber intake had higher odds of glycemic control (odds ratio = 4.31, confidence interval [1.82, 10.20]), independent of race/ethnicity. There were racial/ethnic differences in reporting seeing a diabetes specialist. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest odds of reporting ever seeing a diabetes specialist (84.9%) followed by White non-Hispanics (74.7%), whereas Hispanics reported the lowest proportions (55.2% Mexican Americans and 62.1% other Hispanics). Men seeing a diabetes specialist had the lowest odds of glycemic control (odds ratio = 0.54, confidence interval [0.30, 0.96]). The results of this study suggest that diabetes education counseling may be selectively given to patients who are not in glycemic control. These findings indicate the need for examining referral systems and quality of diabetes care. Future studies should assess the effectiveness of patient-centered medical care provided by a diabetes specialist with consideration of sociodemographics, in particular, race/ethnicity and gender.

Keywords: diabetes; diabetes self-management; health promotion; medical care; race/ethnicity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / ethnology*
  • Self Care*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents