Evolving demographics and disparities in an urban diabetes clinic: Implications for diabetes education and treatment

Virginia G. Dunbar, Esther C. King, Christopher D. George, Imad M. El-Kebbi, David C. Ziemer, Daniel L. Gallina, Curtiss B. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare demographics and disease characteristics in a multiethnic diabetes clinic population to identify changes over time. Design: Analysis and comparison of demographics and disease characteristics of diabetes patients, recorded electronically at intake over 10 years. Setting: An urban outpatient diabetes clinic. Patients: A total of 8,551 African-American (88%), White (7%), or Hispanic (3%) patients (average age, 52 years; mean diabetes duration, 5.1 years; 59% women). Main outcome measures: Proportion of patients by ethnic group, age, diabetes duration, initial hemoglobin A1c, and body mass index. Results: Between 1992 and 2001, the percentage of African-American patients was relatively unchanged (from 87.6% to 87.2%; P=.2), White patients decreased (from 9% to 5%; P=.0006), and Hispanic patients increased (from 1.3% to 5.5%; P<.0001). Among African-American patients, average age decreased from 52 to 50 years (P=.015), diabetes duration decreased from 5.6 years to 4.3 years (P=.0003), initial hemoglobin A1c decreased from 9.3% to 8.8% (P<.0001), and body mass index increased from 31 kg/m2 to 32.1 kg/m2 (P=.0001). Compared with African-American and White patients, Hispanic patients were younger (P<.0001) and had a lower body mass index (P<.0001) but had hemoglobin A1c comparable to that of African-American patients (9.3% vs 9.1%; P=.45) and higher than that of White patients (9.3% vs 8.7%; P=.0022). Conclusions: The demographic and disease profiles of patients in this urban diabetes clinic have shifted, and disparities in glycemic control and obesity exist. Modifications in treatment and education approaches may be necessary to compensate for a changing patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Demography
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Ethnic groups
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Obesity
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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