To understand the racial differences in diabetes among children with type 1 diabetes, look beyond socioeconomic status.
A new study of 10,704 children under age 18 with type 1 diabetes found that black (7%) and Hispanic (11%) kids fared worse than white (83%) children, despite adjustments for age, gender, disease duration, and social and financial factors. Black and Hispanic children were less likely to use insulin pumps than white pediatric patients (26% vs. 39% vs. 61%, respectively). Potential benefits of the insulin pump include more accurate insulin delivery, fewer blood sugar swings, and fewer severe hypoglycemia episodes.
Compared to the other ethnic groups, African Americans experienced higher hemoglobin A1C, more diabetic ketoacidosis, and severe hypoglycemia over a year period.
An editorialist suggested hemoglobin A1C may be overestimated for black patients, leading to overtreatment and more hypoglycemia. Researchers also suggested clinicians examine barriers to insulin pump use among African American patients and strive for cultural sensitivity.
Social and economic status does not explain the racial gaps in the care and outcomes of kids with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.
The finding suggests researchers look to other factors that may explain the racial gap in type 1 diabetes care, such as the perceptions of doctors and families, write the researchers in the journal Pediatrics February 16.
Previous studies done in much smaller populations have had somewhat similar findings, wrote lead author Dr. Steven Willi of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia…