Racial/Ethnic Differences in Access to and Use of Physician Diabetes Care

Raeven Faye Chandler, Pennsylvania State University
Shannon M. Monnat, Pennsylvania State University

Racial/ethnic minorities disproportionately suffer from diabetes, complications from diabetes, and diabetes-related mortality. Proper care can reduce the risk of complications and premature mortality. Using a large national data set (N=37,705) of white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American U.S. adults aged 65 and older who have been diagnosed with diabetes, we examine three specific types of physician care use for diabetes management. We found that net of controls for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, blacks and Hispanics had significantly more visits to a health care provider for their diabetes and significantly more glycosylated hemoglobin checks than whites, and blacks and Native Americans had significantly more physician feet checks than whites. Our results suggest that the reduced access to health care services traditionally found among racial/ethnic minorities does not hold for access to diabetes physician care, where racial/ethnic minority diabetics are actually more likely to use care than are white diabetics.

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Presented in Session 218: Health Behaviors and Health Care Utilization