Regional Variation in Diabetic Outcomes by Country-of-Origin and Language in an Urban Safety Net Hospital

April K. Wilhelm, Debra J. Jacobson, Laura Guzman-Corrales, Chun Fan, Karen Baker, Jane W. Njeru, Mark L. Wieland, Deborah H. Boehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adherence to diabetic care guidelines among US immigrants remains low. This study assesses adherence to diabetic care guidelines by country-of-origin and language among a limited English-proficient (LEP) population. Timely completion of diabetic measures and acceptable levels of hemoglobin A1c (A1c), low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure (BP) were compared between LEP and English-proficient (EP) patients in this 2013 retrospective cohort study of adult diabetics. More LEP patients met BP targets (83 vs. 68 %, p < 0.0001) and obtained LDL targets (89 vs. 85 %, p = 0.0007); however, they had worse LDL control (57 vs. 62 %, p = 0.0011). Ethiopians and Somalians [adjusted OR (95 % CI) = 0.44 (0.30, 0.63)] were less likely than Latin Americans to meet BP goals. LEP patients outperformed EP peers on several diabetic outcomes measures with important variation between groups. These data highlight the success of a safety net hospital in improving diabetes management among diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-804
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Diabetes
  • Immigrant
  • Interpreter use
  • Limited English language proficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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