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Racial and Ethnic Differences in Diabetes Mellitus among People with and without Psychiatric Disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

Cabassa, Leopoldo J.; Blanco, Carlos; Lopez-Castroman, Jorge; Lin, Keng-Han; Lui, Shang-Min; Lewis-Fernandez, Roberto

Objective: This study examined racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a nationally representative sample of adults with and without common psychiatric disorders. Method: Data were drawn from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N= 34,653). Logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic variables and diabetes risk factors were used to examine racial/ethnic differences in 12-month prevalence rates of diabetes by psychiatric status. Results: Among people without psychiatric disorders, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, but not Asians/Pacific Islanders, had significantly higher rates of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites even after adjusting for socio-demographic variables and diabetes risk factors. In the presence of psychiatric disorders, these health disparities persisted for African Americans and Hispanics, but not for American Indians/Alaska Natives. No significant interactions between race/ethnicity and psychiatric disorders in the odds of diabetes were found across any group. Conclusion: Policies and services that support culturally appropriate prevention and treatment strategies are needed to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes among people with and without psychiatric disabilities.



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General Hospital Psychiatry

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November 5, 2012
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