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Diabetes Testing Among Poor, Minority, and Inner-City Adults Plummets

AHRQ News and Numbers, March 30, 2011

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

The proportion of poor adults age 40 and over 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 (AHRQ).

For middle-income adults the drop in these three tests to prevent complications from diabetes was 41percent to 33 percent, but in contrast, the proportion of high-income adults who had all three exams remained the same at 52 percent. Complications can include blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.

Overall, data from the Federal agency found certain groups did not have these three important tests between 2002 and 2007:

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

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

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

Current as of March 2011
Internet Citation: Diabetes Testing Among Poor, Minority, and Inner-City Adults Plummets: AHRQ News and Numbers, March 30, 2011. March 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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