Diabetes testing plummets among poor, minority, and inner-city adults

Research Activities, May 2011, No. 369

The proportion of poor adults aged 40 and older with diabetes who had their blood sugar, eyes, and feet examined at least once a year dropped from 39 percent to 23 percent between 2002 and 2007, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For middle-income adults, the drop in these three tests to prevent complications from diabetes was 41 percent to 33 percent. In contrast, the proportion of high-income adults who had all three exams remained the same at 52 percent. Diabetes-related complications can include blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. Overall, certain groups did not have these three important tests between 2002 and 2007:

  • Blacks experienced an 11 percent plunge, from 43 to 32 percent, while the proportion of Hispanics who had all three exams tumbled from 34 to 27 percent. Among whites, the decline was the smallest, at 4 percent (from 43 to 39 percent).
  • Regardless of race or ethnicity, complications monitoring among adult residents of large inner cities dropped from 45 to just under 33 percent.
  • Also regardless of race, the percentage of adults with a high school education who had the three tests fell 11 points (from 43 to 32 percent) and for those who did not finish high school, the drop was 34 to 29 percent. The reduction was only 4 percent (51 to 47 percent) for adults with at least some college education.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on information in the 2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report (), which examines the disparities in Americans' access to and quality of health care, with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, income, and education.

For more information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of May 2011
Internet Citation: Diabetes testing plummets among poor, minority, and inner-city adults: Research Activities, May 2011, No. 369. May 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/may11/0511RA19.html