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Logo of pubhealthrepPublic Health Reports
Public Health Rep. 1983 Mar-Apr; 98(2): 189–193.
PMCID: PMC1424410

Characteristics of recipients in Florida's long-term program of insulin distribution.


Since 1935 the State health agency has provided insulin to medically indigent diabetics in Florida. During 1980, data were collected on 9,429 recipients regarding their age, race, sex, height, weight, and type and dosage of insulin. The mean age was 55 years; 47 percent were white and 52 percent were black. Seventy-two percent of the recipients were females and 28 percent were males. The utilization rate was much greater for blacks than for whites in all age-sex groups. Seventy-two percent of the estimated number of insulin-requiring black females used insulin supplied by the health agency, compared with 9 percent of insulin-requiring white females in the State. For black males, the proportion was 37 percent and for the white males, it was 5 percent. Obesity was defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 25 for females and greater than 27 for males. The mean BMIs were 30.9 for females and 27.7 for males. In all age groups, women were more obese than men, and blacks were more obese than whites except for the oldest age group, those 65 and older. The mean total daily dosage of insulin was 46 units, and 95 percent of recipients used NPH or Lente insulin. Insulin dosage per kilogram of body weight showed some decrease as weight increased. The authors concluded that the Florida program reaches a significant proportion of its target population.

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