Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Primary Care Quality Among Type 2 Diabetes Patients, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2012

Prev Chronic Dis. 2016 Aug 4;13:E100. doi: 10.5888/pcd13.160113.


Introduction: Racial and ethnic disparities exist in diabetes prevalence, access to diabetes care, diabetes-related complications and mortality rates, and the quality of diabetes care among Americans. We explored racial and ethnic disparities in primary care quality among Americans with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: We analyzed data on adults with type 2 diabetes derived from the household component of the 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Multiple regression and multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine the association between race/ethnicity and primary care attributes related to first contact, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination, and clusters of confounding factors were added sequentially.

Results: Preliminary findings indicated differences in primary care quality between racial/ethnic minorities and whites across measures of first contact, longitudinality, comprehensiveness, and coordination. After controlling for confounding factors, these differences were no longer apparent; all racial/ethnic categories showed similar rates of primary care quality according to the 4 primary care domains of interest in the study.

Conclusion: Results indicate equitable primary care quality for type 2 diabetes patients across 4 key domains of primary care after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. Additional research is necessary to support these findings, particularly when considering smaller racial/ethnic groups and investigating outcomes related to diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Demography
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / classification
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Primary Health Care
  • United States
  • Young Adult