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Diabetes Care Compromised for Hispanics With Limited English

Studies find poor doctor-patient communication hampers medication use, proper glucose control

glucose test

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic-American type 2 diabetes patients who lack proficiency in English are much less likely than non-Hispanic patients to take newly prescribed diabetes medications as directed, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Alicia Fernandez, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues tracked data from 30,383 insured patients in California.

The researchers found that 60.2 percent of Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients did not take newly prescribed diabetes drugs as directed. That's compared to 51.7 percent of English-speaking Hispanics, and 37.5 percent of white patients, the researchers said.

Another study in the same issue of the journal was led by Melissa Parker of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. Her team found that blood glucose control could improve for Hispanic type 2 diabetes patients with limited English skills -- but only when they switched from a primary care doctor who only spoke English to a doctor who primarily spoke Spanish to their patients.

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