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Ethnicity Not Linked to Screening for Diabetes

Despite ADA guidelines, minority status is not found to be a factor for diabetes screening

TUESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- In an insured population presenting for routine care, minority status has not been found to be an independent factor for diabetes screening, despite being recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), according to a study published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

Ann Sheehy, M.D., from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues analyzed the effect of high-risk minority status on diabetes screening practices in an ambulatory, insured population from a large, Midwestern, academic group, who presented for one or more than one yearly health care visits between 2003 and 2007. A total of 15,557 participants without diabetes who were eligible for screening according to ADA criteria were included, 4 percent of whom were of high-risk ethnicity. Relationship between screening with fasting glucose, glucose tolerance test, or hemoglobin A1c were determined, and patient and visit characteristics were identified.

The investigators found that, of the eight ADA-identified high-risk factors studied, ethnicity, after adjustment, was the only factor not associated with higher frequency of diabetes screening, although there were more primary care visits in this group. High-risk ethnicity was not associated with increased frequency of screening in overweight patients younger than 45 years, who were eligible for screening by virtue of an additional risk factor.

"This analysis demonstrated that high-risk ethnicity patients, despite higher frequency of clinic visits, are not more likely to be screened compared with nonminority patients with similar risk factors, which is inconsistent with current diabetes screening guidelines," the authors write.

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