Diabetes management in urban African Americans: Review of a public hospital experience

David C. Ziemer, Imad M. El-Kebbi, Guillermo E. Umpierrez, Mary K. Rhee, Lawrence S. Phillips, Curtiss B. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To review characteristics of an urban (primarily African American) diabetes patient population and discuss experience with treatment strategies, we summarize key retrospective and prospective analyses conducted during 15 years. Results: Severe socioeconomic and personal barriers to diabetes care were often seen in the population. An atypical presentation of diabetic ketoacidosis was observed and extensively studied. A structured diabetes care delivery program was implemented more than three decades ago. A better understanding of how to provide simpler but effective dietary education and factors that affect lipid levels were elucidated. The phenomenon of clinical inertia was described, and methods were developed to facilitate the intensification of diabetes therapy and improve glycemic control. Conclusions: Structured diabetes care can be successfully introduced into a public health system and effective diabetes management can be provided to an under-served population that can result in improved metabolic outcomes. Lessons learned on diabetes management in this population can be extended to similar clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-341
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • African americans
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Urban health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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