Background and Purpose
Neighborhood characteristics may influence the risk of stroke and contribute to socioeconomic disparities in stroke incidence. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) and incident ischemic stroke and examine potential mediators of these associations.
We analyzed data from 3834 whites and 785 African Americans enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a multicenter, population-based, longitudinal study of adults ages ≥65 years from four U.S. counties. The primary outcome was adjudicated incident ischemic stroke. NSES was measured using a composite of six census tract variables. Race-stratified multilevel Cox proportional hazard models were constructed, adjusted for sociodemographic, behavioral, and biologic risk factors.
Among whites, in models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, stroke hazard was significantly higher among residents of neighborhoods in the lowest compared to the highest NSES quartile (Hazard Ratio [HR] =1.32; 95% CI 1.01-1.72), with greater attenuation of the HR after adjustment for biologic risk factors (HR=1.16; 0.88-1.52) than for behavioral risk factors (HR=1.30; 0.99-1.70). Among African Americans, we found no significant associations between NSES and ischemic stroke.
Higher risk of incident ischemic stroke was observed in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods among whites, but not among African Americans. The relationship between NSES and stroke among whites appears to be mediated more strongly by biologic than behavioral risk factors.
To determine whether competing demands for time affect diabetes self-care behaviors, processes of care, and intermediate outcomes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We used survey and medical record data from 5,478 participants in Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) and hierarchical regression models to examine the cross-sectional associations between competing demands for time and diabetes outcomes, including self-management, processes of care, and intermediate health outcomes.
Fifty-two percent of participants reported no competing demands, 7% reported caregiving responsibilities only, 36% reported employment responsibilities only, and 6% reported both caregiving and employment responsibilities. For both women and men, employment responsibilities (with or without caregiving responsibilities) were associated with lower rates of diabetes self-care behaviors, worse processes of care, and, in men, worse HbA1c.
Accommodations for competing demands for time may promote self-management and improve the processes and outcomes of care for employed adults with diabetes.
We sought to determine whether there is an association between perceived neighborhood safety and body mass index (BMI), accounting for endogeneity.
A random sample of 2255 adults from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey 2000–2001 was analyzed using instrumental variables. The main outcome was BMI using self-reported height and weight, and the main independent variable was residents’ report of their neighborhood safety.
In adjusted analyses, individuals who perceived their neighborhoods as unsafe had a BMI that was 2.81 kg/m2 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.11, 5.52) higher than did those who perceived their neighborhoods as safe.
Our results suggest that clinical and public health interventions aimed at reducing rates of obesity may be enhanced by strategies to modify the physical and social environment that incorporate residents’ perceptions of their communities.
This community partnered study was developed and fielded in partnerships with key community stakeholders, describes age and race-related variation in delays in care and preventive service utilization among middle-aged and older adults living in South Los Angeles. The survey sample included adults ages 50 years and older who self-identified as African-American or Latino and lived in zip-codes of South Los Angeles (N=708). Dependent variables were self-reported delays in care and use of preventive services. Insured participants ages 50–64 years were more likely to report any delay in care (adjusted predicted percent (APP) 18%, 95% CI 14, 23) and problems getting needed medical care (APP 15%, 95% CI 12, 20) than those ages 65 years or older. Uninsured participants ages 50–64 years reported even greater delays in care (APP 45%, 95% CI 33, 56) and problems getting needed medical (APP 33%,95% CI 22, 45) and specialty care (APP 26%, 95% CI 16, 39) than those age 65 and over. Compared to older participants, those age 50–64 years were generally less likely to receive preventive services, including influenza or pneumococcal vaccines and colonoscopy, but women were more likely to receive mammograms. Persons ages 50–64 years had more problems obtaining recommended preventive care and faced more delays in care than persons age 65 years and older, particularly if uninsured. Providing insurance coverage for this group may improve access to preventive care and promote wellness.
preventive services; delays; community based participatory research; insurance
We examined factors influencing physician practice decisions that may increase primary care supply in underserved areas.
We conducted in-depth interviews with 42 primary care physicians from Los Angeles County, California, stratified by race/ethnicity (African American, Latino, and non-Latino White) and practice location (underserved vs nonunderserved area). We reviewed transcriptions and coded them into themes by using standard qualitative methods.
Three major themes emerged in relation to selecting geographic- and population-based practice decisions: (1) personal motivators, (2) career motivators, and (3) clinic support. We found that subthemes describing personal motivators (e.g., personal mission and self-identity) for choosing a practice were more common in responses among physicians who worked in underserved areas than among those who did not. By contrast, physicians in nonunderserved areas were more likely to cite work hours and lifestyle as reasons for selecting their current practice location or for leaving an underserved area.
Medical schools and shortage-area clinical practices may enhance strategies for recruiting primary care physicians to underserved areas by identifying key personal motivators and may promote long-term retention through work–life balance.
Depression and diminished health status are common in adults with diabetes, but few studies have investigated associations with socio-economic environment. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate the relationship between neighborhood-level SES and health status and depression.
Individual-level data on 1010 participants at baseline in Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes), a trial of long-term weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes, were linked to neighborhood-level SES (% living below poverty) from the 2000 US Census (tracts). Dependent variables included depression (Beck Inventory), and health status (Medical Outcomes Study (SF-36) scale). Multi-level regression models were used to account simultaneously for individual-level age, sex, race, education, personal yearly income and neighborhood-level SES.
Overall, the % living in poverty in the participants' neighborhoods varied, mean = 11% (range 0-67%). Compared to their counterparts in the lowest tertile of neighborhood poverty (least poverty), those in the highest tertile (most poverty) had significantly lower scores on the role-limitations(physical), role limitations(emotional), physical functioning, social functioning, mental health, and vitality sub-scales of the SF-36 scale. When evaluating SF-36 composite scores, those living in neighborhoods with more poverty had significantly lower scores on the physical health (β-coefficient [β] = -1.90 units, 95% CI: -3.40,-0.039), mental health (β = -2.92 units, -4.31,-1.53) and global health (β = -2.77 units, -4.21,-1.33) composite scores.
In this selected group of weight loss trial participants, lower neighborhood SES was significantly associated with poorer health status. Whether these associations might influence response to the Look AHEAD weight loss intervention requires further investigation.
Enhancing the cultural competency of students is emerging as a key issue in medical education; however, students may perceive that they are more able to function within cross-cultural situations than their teachers, reducing the effectiveness of cultural competency educational efforts.
The purpose of our study was to compare medical students’ perceptions of their residents, attendings, and their own cultural competency.
A questionnaire containing previously validated instruments was administered to end-of-third-year medical students at four institutions throughout the US. Repeated measures multivariate analysis was used to determine differences in student ratings.
Three hundred fifty-eight medical students from four schools participated, for an overall response rate of 65%.
Analysis indicated overall statistically significant differences in students’ ratings (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.33). Students rated their own cultural competency as statistically significantly higher than their residents, but similar to their attendings. For reference, students rated the patient care competency of themselves, their residents, and their attendings; they rated their attendings’ skills as statistically significantly higher than residents, and residents as statistically significantly higher than themselves. There were differences between cultural competency and patient care ratings.
Our results indicate that students perceive the cultural competency of their attendings and residents to be the same or lower than themselves. These findings indicate that this is an important area for future research and curricular reform, considering the vital role that attendings and residents play in the education of medical students.
cultural competency; medical education; medical education-undergraduate
A health disparities curriculum that uses evidence-based knowledge rooted in pedagogic theory is needed to educate health care providers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse U.S. population.
The Health Disparities Education: Beyond Cultural Competency Precourse, along with its accompanying Train the Trainer Guide: Health Disparities Education (2008), developed by the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Disparities Task Force (DTF), is a comprehensive tool to facilitate developing, implementing and evaluating health disparities education. The curriculum includes five modules highlighting several fundamental concepts in health disparities, suggestions for teaching about health disparities in a wide range of settings and strategies for curriculum evaluation. The modules are Disparities Foundations, Teaching Disparities in the Clinical Setting, Disparities Beyond the Clinical Setting, Teaching about Disparities Through Community Involvement, and Curriculum Evaluation.
All five modules were delivered as a precourse at the 31st Annual SGIM Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA and received the “Best Precourse Award”. This award is given to the most highly rated precourse based on participant evaluations. The modules have also been adapted into a web-based guide that has been downloaded at least 59 times.
Ultimately, the modules are designed to develop a professional commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care quality, promote an understanding of the role of health care providers in reducing health care disparities through comprehensive education and training, and provide a framework with which providers can address the causes of disparities in various educational settings.
health disparities; medical education; faculty development
Patients who speak Spanish and/or have low socioeconomic status are at greater risk of suboptimal glycemic control. Inadequate intensification of anti-glycemic medications may partially explain this disparity.
To examine the associations between primary language, income, and medication intensification.
Cohort study with 18-month follow-up.
One thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine patients with Type 2 diabetes who were not using insulin enrolled in the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes Study (TRIAD), a study of diabetes care in managed care.
Using administrative pharmacy data, we compared the odds of medication intensification for patients with baseline A1c ≥ 8%, by primary language and annual income. Covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, Charlson score, diabetes duration, baseline A1c, type of diabetes treatment, and health plan.
Overall, 42.4% of patients were taking intensified regimens at the time of follow-up. We found no difference in the odds of intensification for English speakers versus Spanish speakers. However, compared to patients with incomes <$15,000, patients with incomes of $15,000-$39,999 (OR 1.43, 1.07-1.92), $40,000-$74,999 (OR 1.62, 1.16-2.26) or >$75,000 (OR 2.22, 1.53-3.24) had increased odds of intensification. This latter pattern did not differ statistically by race.
Low-income patients were less likely to receive medication intensification compared to higher-income patients, but primary language (Spanish vs. English) was not associated with differences in intensification in a managed care setting. Future studies are needed to explain the reduced rate of intensification among low income patients in managed care.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1588-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Little is known about drug cost communications of Medicare Part D beneficiaries with chronic conditions such as diabetes. The purpose of this study is to assess Medicare Part D beneficiaries with diabetes' levels of communication with physicians regarding prescription drug costs; the perceived importance of these communications; levels of prescription drug switching due to cost; and self-reported cost-related medication non-adherence.
Data were obtained from a cross-sectional survey (58% response rate) of 1,458 Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes who entered the coverage gap in 2006; adjusted percentages of patients with communication issues were obtained from multivariate regression analyses adjusting for patient demographics and clinical characteristics.
Fewer than half of patients reported discussing the cost of medications with their physicians, while over 75% reported that such communications were important. Forty-eight percent reported their physician had switched to a less expensive medication due to costs. Minorities, females, and older adults had significantly lower levels of communication with their physicians regarding drug costs than white, male, and younger patients respectively. Patients with < $25 K annual household income were more likely than higher income patients to have talked about prescription drug costs with doctors, and to report cost-related non-adherence (27% vs. 17%, p < .001).
Medicare Part D beneficiaries with diabetes who entered the coverage gap have low levels of communication with physicians about drug costs, despite the high perceived importance of such communication. Understanding patient and plan-level characteristics differences in communication and use of cost-cutting strategies can inform interventions to help patients manage prescription drug costs.
Previous studies have shown that neighborhood factors are associated with obesity, but few studies have evaluated the association with weight control behaviors. This study aims to conduct a multi-level analysis to examine the relationship between neighborhood SES and weight-related health behaviors.
In this ancillary study to Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) a trial of long-term weight loss among individuals with type 2 diabetes, individual-level data on 1219 participants from 4 clinic sites at baseline were linked to neighborhood-level data at the tract level from the 2000 US Census and other databases. Neighborhood variables included SES (% living below the federal poverty level) and the availability of food stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. Dependent variables included BMI, eating patterns, weight control behaviors and resource use related to food and physical activity. Multi-level models were used to account for individual-level SES and potential confounders.
The availability of restaurants was related to several eating and weight control behaviors. Compared to their counterparts in neighborhoods with fewer restaurants, participants in neighborhoods with more restaurants were more likely to eat breakfast (prevalence Ratio [PR] 1.29 95% CI: 1.01-1.62) and lunch (PR = 1.19, 1.04-1.36) at non-fast food restaurants. They were less likely to be attempting weight loss (OR = 0.93, 0.89-0.97) but more likely to engage in weight control behaviors for food and physical activity, respectively, than those who lived in neighborhoods with fewer restaurants. In contrast, neighborhood SES had little association with weight control behaviors.
In this selected group of weight loss trial participants, restaurant availability was associated with some weight control practices, but neighborhood SES was not. Future studies should give attention to other populations and to evaluating various aspects of the physical and social environment with weight control practices.
Versus whites, blacks with diabetes have poorer control of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), higher systolic blood pressure (SBP), and higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as well as higher rates of morbidity and microvascular complications.
To examine whether several mutable risk factors were more strongly associated with poor control of multiple intermediate outcomes among blacks with diabetes than among similar whites.
A total of 764 blacks and whites with diabetes receiving care within 8 managed care health plans.
Cases were patients with poor control of at least two of three intermediate outcomes (HbA1c≥8.0%, SBP≥140 mmHg, LDL cholesterol≥130 mg/dl) and controls were patients with good control of all three (HbA1c<8.0%, SBP<140 mmHg, LDL cholesterol<130 mg/dl). In multivariate analyses, we determined whether each of five potentially mutable risk factors, including depression, low health literacy, poor adherence to medication, low self-efficacy for reducing cardiovascular risk, and poor patient-provider communication, predicted case or control status.
Among blacks but not whites, in multivariate analyses depression (odds ratio [OR] 2.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-4.75) and having missed medication doses (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.01-3.81) were associated with greater odds of being a case rather than a control. None of the other risk factors were associated for either blacks or whites.
Depression and missing medication doses are more strongly associated with poor diabetes control among blacks than in whites. These two risk factors may represent important targets for patient-level interventions to address racial disparities in diabetes outcomes.
Diabetes; Racial/Ethnic Groups; Health Outcomes
Eating away from home and particularly fast food consumption have been shown to contribute to weight gain. Increased geographic access to fast food outlets and other restaurants may contribute to higher levels of obesity, especially in individuals who rely largely on the local environment for their food purchases. We examined whether fast food and restaurant concentrations are associated with body mass index and whether car ownership might moderate this association. We linked the 2000 US Census data and information on locations of fast food and other restaurants with the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study database, which consists of 2,156 adults sampled from 63 neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. Multilevel modeling was used to estimate associations between body mass index (BMI), fast food and restaurant concentration, and car ownership after adjustment for individual-level factors and socioeconomic characteristics of residential neighborhoods. A high concentration of local restaurants is associated with BMI. Car owners have higher BMIs than non-car owners; however, individuals who do not own cars and reside in areas with a high concentration of fast food outlets have higher BMIs than non-car owners who live in areas with no fast food outlets, approximately 12 lb more (p = 0.02) for an individual with a height of 5 ft. 5 in. Higher restaurant density is associated with higher BMI among local residents. The local fast food environment has a stronger association with BMI for local residents who do not have access to cars.
Multilevel; Fast food; BMI; Obesity; Mobility; Neighborhood; Restaurant
Residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with poorer access to healthy foods.
To understand associations between the neighborhood food resource environment and residents’ health status and body mass index (BMI) for adults with and without chronic conditions.
Cross-sectional multilevel analysis.
2,536 adults from the 2000–2001 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey.
The food resource environment was defined as the number of chain supermarkets, independent supermarkets, small markets, or convenience stores per roadway miles in the census tract. The main dependent variables were self-rated health, dichotomized as excellent or fair/poor, and body mass index (BMI). Multilevel regression models examined the association between the food resource environment and both BMI and the odds of reporting excellent health after adjustment for neighborhood SES and individual characteristics.
More chain supermarkets per roadway mile in a census tract was associated with higher adjusted rates of reporting excellent health (33%, 38%, and 43% for those in the lowest, middle, and highest tertiles of chain supermarkets) and lower adjusted mean BMI (27, 26, and 25 kg/m2) for residents without a chronic condition, but not those with a chronic condition. In contrast, having more convenience stores per roadway mile was associated with lower health ratings only among adults with a chronic condition (39%, 32%, and 27% for the lowest to highest tertile of convenience stores).
Health status and BMI are associated with the local food environment, but the associations differ by type of market and presence of a chronic condition.
chronic diseases; community health; health status
Although patients with diabetes may benefit from physical activity, few studies have examined sustained walking in this population.
To examine the factors associated with sustained walking among managed care patients with diabetes.
Longitudinal, observational cohort study with questionnaires administered 2.5 years apart.
Five thousand nine hundred thirty-five patients with diabetes walking at least 20 minutes/day at baseline.
The primary outcome was the likelihood of sustained walking, defined as walking at least 20 minutes/day at follow-up. We evaluated a logistic regression model that included demographic, clinical, and neighborhood variables as independent predictors of sustained walking, and expressed the results as predicted percentages.
The absence of pain was linked to walking behavior, as 62% of patients with new pain, 67% with ongoing pain, and 70% without pain were still walking at follow-up (p = .03). Obese patients were less likely (65%) to sustain walking than overweight (71%) or normal weight (70%) patients (p = .03). Patients ≥65 years (63%) were less likely to sustain walking than patients between 45 and 64 (70%) or ≤44 (73%) years (p = .04). Only 62% of patients with a new comorbidity sustained walking compared with 68% of those who did not (p < .001). We found no association between any neighborhood variables and sustained walking in this cohort of active walkers.
Pain, obesity, and new comorbidities were moderately associated with decreases in sustained walking. Whereas controlled intervention studies are needed, prevention, or treatment of these adverse conditions may help patients with diabetes sustain walking behavior.
sustained walking; diabetes patients; managed care; TRIAD study; pain; obesity; comorbidities
The process of applying to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for grant funding can be daunting. The objective of this article is to help investigators successfully navigate the NIH grant application process. We focus on the practical aspects of this process, which are commonly learned through trial and error. Our target audience is generalist faculty and fellows who are applying for NIH funding to support their career development or a clinical research project.
clinical research; academic medicine; NIH; funding; grants
To examine associations between physician reimbursement incentives and diabetes care processes and explore potential confounding with physician organizational model.
Primary data collected during 2000–2001 in 10 managed care plans.
Multilevel logistic regressions were used to estimate associations between reimbursement incentives and process measures, including the receipt of dilated eye exams, foot exams, influenza immunizations, advice to take aspirin, and assessments of glycemic control, proteinuria, and lipid profile. Reimbursement measures included the proportions of compensation received from salary, capitation, fee-for-service (FFS), and performance-based payment; the performance-based payment criteria used; and interactions of these criteria with the strength of the performance-based payment incentive.
Patient, provider group, and health plan surveys and medical record reviews were conducted for 6,194 patients with diabetes.
Without controlling for physician organizational model, care processes were better when physician compensation was based primarily on direct salary rather than FFS reimbursement (four of seven processes were better, with relative risks ranging from 1.13 to 1.23) or capitation (six were better, with relative risks from 1.06 to 1.36); and when quality/satisfaction scores influenced physician compensation (three were better, with relative risks from 1.17 to 1.26). However, these associations were substantially confounded by organizational model.
Physician reimbursement strategies are associated with diabetes care processes, although their independent contributions are difficult to assess, due to high correlation with physician organizational model. Regardless of causality, a group's use of quality/satisfaction scores to determine physician compensation may indicate delivery of high-quality diabetes care.
Provider financial incentives; reimbursement; quality of care; diabetes
Our understanding of social disparities in diabetes-related health behaviors is incomplete. The purpose of this study was to determine if having less education is associated with poorer diabetes-related health behaviors.
This observational study was based on a cohort of 8,763 survey respondents drawn from ~180,000 patients with diabetes receiving care from 68 provider groups in ten managed care health plans across the United States. Self-reported survey data included individual educational attainment ("education") and five diabetes self-care behaviors among individuals for whom the behavior would clearly be indicated: foot exams (among those with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or a history of foot ulcers); self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG; among insulin users only); smoking; exercise; and certain diabetes-related health seeking behaviors (use of diabetes health education, website, or support group in last 12 months). Predicted probabilities were modeled at each level of self-reported educational attainment using hierarchical logistic regression models with random effects for clustering within health plans.
Patients with less education had significantly lower predicted probabilities of being a non-smoker and engaging in regular exercise and health-seeking behaviors, while SMBG and foot self-examination did not vary by education. Extensive adjustment for patient factors revealed no discernable confounding effect on the estimates or their significance, and most education-behavior relationships were similar across sex, race and other patient characteristics. The relationship between education and smoking varied significantly across age, with a strong inverse relationship in those aged 25–44, modest for those ages 45–64, but non-evident for those over 65. Intensity of disease management by the health plan and provider communication did not alter the examined education-behavior relationships. Other measures of socioeconomic position yielded similar findings.
The relationship between educational attainment and health behaviors was modest in strength for most behaviors. Over the life course, the cumulative effect of reduced practice of multiple self-care behaviors among less educated patients may play an important part in shaping the social health gradient.
To determine influenza vaccination rates among U.S. health care workers (HCWs) by demographic and occupational categories.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
We analyzed data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Weighted multivariable analyses were used to evaluate the association between HCW occupation and other variables potentially related to receipt of influenza vaccination. HCWs were categorized based on standard occupational classifications as health-diagnosing professions, health-assessing professions, health aides, health technicians; or health administrators.
MAIN INDEPENDENT VARIABLES
Demographic characteristics and occupation category.
MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLES
Receipt of influenza vaccination within 12 months of survey.
Descriptive statistics and weighted multivariable logistic regression.
There were 1,651 HCWs in the final sample. The overall influenza vaccination rate for HCWs was 38%. After weighted multivariable analyses, HCWs who were under 50 (odds ratio [OR] 0.67%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50 to 0.89, compared with HCWs 50 to 64), black (OR 0.57 95% CI: 0.42, 0.78, compared with white HCWs), or were health aides (OR 0.73%, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.04, compared with health care administrators and administrative support staff) had lower odds of having been vaccinated against influenza.
The overall influenza vaccination rate among HCWs in the United States is low. Workers who are under 50, black, or health aides have the lowest rates of vaccinations. Interventions seeking to improve HCW vaccination rates may need to target these specific subgroups.
Influenza vaccinations; health care workers; National Health Interview Survey; nosocomial infection; employee health
To determine whether prescription patterns of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) differ in African-American, Asian, Latina, Soviet immigrant, and white women.
Retrospective review of computerized medical records.
The general internal medicine, family medicine, and gynecology practices of an academic medical center.
Women aged 50 years or older with at least one outpatient visit from January 1, 1992, to November 30, 1995.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Use of HRT was defined as documentation of systemic estrogen use. The main predictor variable was self-identified ethnicity. Age, diagnosis (coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, or breast cancer), and median income were included in the analysis. Of the 8,968 women (mean age, 65.4 years) included, 50% were white, 20% Asian, 15% African American, 9% Latina, and 6% Soviet immigrants. Whites (33%) were significantly more likely to be prescribed HRT than Asians (21%), African Americans (25%), Latinas (23%), or Soviet immigrants (6.6%), p < 0.01 for each. Multivariate analysis, comparing ethnic groups and controlling for confounding variables, showed that Asians (odds ratio [OR] 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.49, 0.64), African Americans (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.60, 0.81), Latinas (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.58, 0.84), and Soviet immigrants (OR 0.14; 95% CI 0.10, 0.20) were each less likely to be prescribed HRT than were white women. Although women with osteoporosis were more likely to receive HRT (OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.71, 2.99), those with coronary heart disease were not (OR 0.88; 95% CI 0.68, 1.09).
Physicians at this medical center were more likely to prescribe HRT for white women and women with osteoporosis. Further study is needed to address whether these differences in HRT prescribing result in different health outcomes.
hormone replacement therapy; postmenopausal women; ethnicity; physician prescribing; prevention
To characterize national physician organizations’ efforts to
reduce health disparities and identify organizational characteristics
associated with such efforts.
This cross-sectional study was conducted between September 2009 and
June 2010. The authors used two-sample t tests and
chi-square tests to compare the proportion of organizations with
disparity-reducing activities between different organizational types (e.g.,
primary care versus subspecialty organizations, small [<1,000
members] versus large [>5,000 members]). Inclusion criteria required
physician organizations to be (1) focused on physicians, (2) national in
scope, and (3) membership based.
The number of activities per organization ranged from 0 to 22.
Approximately half (53%) of organizations had 0 or 1 disparity-reducing
activities. Organiza-tional characteristics associated with having at least
1 disparity-reducing effort included membership size (88% of large groups
versus 58% of small groups had at least 1 activity; P =
.004) and the presence of a health disparities committee (95% versus 59%;
P < .001). Primary care (versus subspecialty)
organizations and racial/ethnic minority physician organizations were more
likely to have disparity-reducing efforts, although findings were not
statistically significant. Common themes addressed by activities were health
care access, health care disparities, workforce diversity, and language
barriers. Common strategies included education of physicians/trainees and
patients/general public, position statements, and advocacy.
Despite the national priority to eliminate health disparities, more
than half of national physician organizations are doing little to address
this problem. Primary care and minority physician organizations, and those
with disparities committees, may provide leadership to extend the scope of
Premature mortality and disparities in morbidity observed in African-American men may be associated with factors in their social, economic, and built environments that may be especially influential during the transition to adulthood.
To have young, African-American men from Los Angeles County identify and prioritize factors associated with their transition to manhood using photovoice methodology and pile-sorting exercises.
Qualitative study using community-based participatory research (CBPR) and photovoice
Twelve African-American men, ages 16–26 years, from Los Angeles County, California.
We used CBPR principles to form a community advisory board (CAB) whose members defined goals for the partnered project, developed the protocols, and participated in data collection and analysis. Participants were given digital cameras to take 50–300 photographs over three months. Pile-sorting techniques were used to facilitate participants’ identification and discussion of the themes in their photos and selected photos of the group. Pile-sorts of group photographs were analyzed using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis to systematically compare participants’ themes and identify patterns of associations between sorted photographs. Sub-themes and related quotes were also elicited from the pile-sorting transcripts. The CAB and several study participants met periodically to develop dissemination strategies and design interventions informed by study findings.
Four dominant themes emerged during analysis: 1) Struggles face during the transition to manhood, 2) Sources of social support, 3) Role of sports, and 4) Views on Los Angeles lifestyle. The project led to the formation of a young men’s group and community events featuring participants.
CBPR and photovoice are effective methods to engage young, African-American men to identify and discuss factors affecting their transition to manhood, contextualize research findings, and participate in intervention development.
race/ethnicity; men’s health; socioeconomic factors; qualitative research
To evaluate the U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) and Framingham risk equations for predicting short-term risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events among adults with long-standing type 2 diabetes, including those with and without preexisting CHD.
Prospective cohort of U.S. managed care enrollees aged ≥ 18 years and mean diabetes duration of more than 10 years, participating in the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) study, was followed for the first occurrence of CHD events from 2000 to 2003. The UKPDS and Framingham risk equations were evaluated for discriminating power and calibration.
A total of 8303 TRIAD participants, were identified to evaluate the UKPDS (n = 5914, 120 events), Framingham-initial (n = 5914, 218 events) and Framingham-secondary (n = 2389, 374 events) risk equations, according to their prior CHD history. All of these equations exhibited low discriminating power with Harrell’s c-index <0.65. All except the Framingham-initial equation for women and the Framingham-secondary equation for men had low levels of calibration. After adjsusting for the average values of predictors and event rates in the TRIAD population, the calibration of these equations greatly improved.
The UKPDS and Framingham risk equations may be inappropriate for predicting the short-term risk of CHD events in patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes, partly due to changes in medications used by patients with diabetes and other improvements in clinical care since the Frmaingham and UKPDS studies were conducted. Refinement of these equations to reflect contemporary CHD profiles, diagnostics and therapies are needed to provide reliable risk estimates to inform effective treatment.
Racial–ethnic minorities receive lower quality and intensity of health care compared with whites across a wide range of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services and disease entities. These disparities in health care contribute to continuing racial–ethnic disparities in the burden of illness and death. Several national medical organizations and the Institute of Medicine have issued position papers and recommendations for the elimination of health care disparities. However, physicians in practice are often at a loss for how to translate these principles and recommendations into specific interventions in their own clinical practices. This paper serves as a blueprint for translating principles for the elimination of racial–ethnic disparities in health care into specific actions that are relevant for individual clinical practices. We describe what is known about reducing racial–ethnic disparities in clinical practice and make recommendations for how clinician leaders can apply this evidence to transform their own practices.
racial disparities; race; ethnicity; health care delivery; cultural competence; ethnic groups; continental population groups