Emergency department visits in African Americans with mild cognitive impairment and diabetes

J Diabetes Complications. 2021 May;35(5):107905. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2021.107905. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Aims: Dementia, diabetes, and African American race are three factors that are independently associated with emergency department (ED) use. This study tested the hypothesis that ED use is associated with worse cognitive function in African Americans with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and poorly controlled diabetes.

Methods: This study examined differences in ED use among African Americans with MCI and diabetes in a secondary data analysis of baseline data from a one-year randomized controlled trial (N = 101).

Results: Over one year, 49/92 participants (53.3%) had at least one ED visit. At baseline, participants who had an incident ED visit had significantly fewer years of education; lower scores on neuropsychological tests assessing working memory, psychomotor speed, and complex scanning; higher diabetes-related interpersonal distress scores; lower adherence to a diabetes medication; and higher hemoglobin A1c levels compared to participants with no ED visits (p ≤ 0.05 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: This study identified multiple risk factors for ED visits in older African Americans with MCI and diabetes. Targeted interventions may be necessary to reduce the need for ED care in high risk populations.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02174562 NCT03393338.

Keywords: African Americans; Diabetes; Emergency department use; Mild cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02174562
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03393338