Controlling diabetes is more challenging for Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites, suggest the analyses of multiple studies.
According to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Hispanic patients with diabetes have approximately 0.5 percent higher levels on a test that measures blood sugar control, called the A1C test, than non-Hispanic white patients.
An A1C test measures hemoglobin linked with glucose, or blood sugar, over a time period of two to three months. Higher A1C values indicate patients have difficulty controlling their blood sugar.
'These findings are interesting because they evaluate all available information from studies that include both Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites over a period of 13 years,' said Julienne Kirk, PharmD, associate professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and study's lead author.
Kirk said that knowing some minority groups may have higher A1C could impact early treatment and awareness.
In the research, 495 studies were reviewed.
The researchers narrowed their analysis down to 11 studies that comprised results of A1C tests for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, who were at least 18 years of age, and were not considered to have prediabetes or gestational diabetes.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incidence per 1,000 of diagnosed diabetes of those between 18 and 79 years was 10.2 percent for Hispanic or Latino individuals compared with 6.9 percent for non-Hispanic whites in 2005.
'We were not surprised by these findings since ethnic minorities in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by diabetes, and we found a similar trend in the African American population with diabetes a year ago,' said Kirk.
'What did surprise us were the results of our analysis of subgroups of patients with managed care and non-managed care insurance. The largest difference for A1C was among non-managed care insurance groups,' added Kirk.
The researchers recommend the development of strategies that focus not only on discovering the source of the differences in diabetes control between the two groups, but also on reducing these disparities.
The study is published in Diabetes Care.