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1.  Socioeconomic Status and Mortality 
Diabetes Care  2012;36(1):49-55.
Although several studies have examined the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality in the general population, few have investigated this relationship among people with diabetes. This study sought to determine how risk of mortality associated with measures of SES among adults with diagnosed diabetes is mitigated by association with demographics, comorbidities, diabetes treatment, psychological distress, or health care access and utilization.
The study included 6,177 adults aged 25 years or older with diagnosed diabetes who participated in the National Health Interview Surveys (1997–2003) linked to mortality data (follow-up through 2006). SES was measured by education attained, financial wealth (either stocks/dividends or home ownership), and income-to-poverty ratio.
In unadjusted analysis, risk of death was significantly greater for people with lower levels of education and income-to-poverty ratio than for those at the highest levels. After adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, diabetes treatment and duration, health care access, and psychological distress variables, the association with greater risk of death remained significant only for people with the lowest level of education (relative hazard 1.52 [95% CI 1.04–2.23]). After multivariate adjustment, the risk of death was significantly greater for people without certain measures of financial wealth (e.g., stocks, home ownership) (1.56 [1.07–2.27]) than for those with them.
The findings suggest that after adjustments for demographics, health care access, and psychological distress, the level of education attained and financial wealth remain strong predictors of mortality risk among adults with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3526248  PMID: 22933434
2.  Access to Health Care and Control of ABCs of Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(7):1566-1571.
To examine the relationship between access to health care and diabetes control.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2008, we identified 1,221 U.S. adults (age 18–64 years) with self-reported diabetes. Access was measured by current health insurance coverage, number of times health care was received over the past year, and routine place to go for health care. Diabetes control measures included the proportion of people with A1C >9%, blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg, and non-HDL cholesterol ≥130 mg/dL.
An estimated 16.0% of known diabetic adults were uninsured. Diabetes control profiles were worse among uninsured than among insured persons (A1C >9% [34.1 vs. 16.5%, P = 0.002], blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg [31.8 vs. 22.8%, P < 0.05], and non-HDL cholesterol ≥130 mg/dL [67.1 vs. 65.4%, P = 0.7]). Compared with insured persons, uninsured persons were more likely to have A1C >9% (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio 2.4 [95% CI 1.2–4.7]). Compared with those who reported four or more health care visits in the past year, those who reported no health care visits were more likely to have A1C >9% (5.5 [1.2–26.3]) and blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg (1.9 [1.1–3.4]).
In people with diabetes, lack of health care coverage is associated with poor glycemic control. In addition, low use of health care service is associated with poor glucose and blood pressure control.
PMCID: PMC3379598  PMID: 22522664
3.  Household Income and Cardiovascular Disease Risks in U.S. Children and Young Adults 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(9):1998-2004.
To assess the cardiovascular risk profile of youths across socioeconomic groups in the U.S.
Analysis of 1999–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) including 16,085 nonpregnant 6- to 24-year-olds to estimate race/ethnicity-adjusted prevalence of obesity, central obesity, sedentary behaviors, tobacco exposure, elevated systolic blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, non-HDL cholesterol (non–HDL-C), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein according to age-group, sex, and poverty-income ratio (PIR) tertiles.
Among boys aged 6–11 years, 19.9% in the lowest PIR tertile were obese and 30.0% were centrally obese compared with 13.2 and 21.6%, respectively, in the highest-income tertile households (Pobesity < 0.05 and Pcentral obesity < 0.01). Boys aged 12–17 years in lowest-income households were more likely than their wealthiest family peers to be obese (20.6 vs. 15.6%, P < 0.05), sedentary (14.8 vs. 9.3%, P < 0.05), and exposed to tobacco (19.0 vs. 6.5%, P < 0.01). Compared with girls aged 12–17 years in highest-income households, lowest-income household girls had higher prevalence of obesity (17.9 vs. 13.1%, P < 0.05), central obesity (41.5 vs. 29.2%, P < 0.01), sedentary behaviors (20.4 vs. 9.4%, P < 0.01), and tobacco exposure (14.1 vs. 5.9%, P < 0.01). Apart from higher prevalence of elevated non–HDL-C among low-income women aged 18–24 years (23.4 vs. 15.8%, P < 0.05), no other cardiovascular disease risk factor prevalence differences were observed between lowest- and highest-income background young adults.
Independent of race/ethnicity, 6- to 17-year-olds from low-income families have higher prevalence of obesity, central obesity, sedentary behavior, and tobacco exposure. Multifaceted cardiovascular health promotion policies are needed to reduce health disparities between income groups.
PMCID: PMC3161277  PMID: 21868776
4.  Evaluation of risk equations for prediction of short-term coronary heart disease events in patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes: the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) study 
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.
PMCID: PMC3433369  PMID: 22776317
5.  Competing Demands for Time and Self-Care Behaviors, Processes of Care, and Intermediate Outcomes Among People With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(5):1180-1182.
To determine whether competing demands for time affect diabetes self-care behaviors, processes of care, and intermediate outcomes.
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.
PMCID: PMC3114509  PMID: 21464464
6.  Association Between Iron Deficiency and A1C Levels Among Adults Without Diabetes in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2006 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(4):780-785.
Iron deficiency has been reported to elevate A1C levels apart from glycemia. We examined the influence of iron deficiency on A1C distribution among adults without diabetes.
Participants included adults without self-reported diabetes or chronic kidney disease in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006 who were aged ≥18 years of age and had complete blood counts, iron studies, and A1C levels. Iron deficiency was defined as at least two abnormalities including free erythrocyte protoporphyrin >70 μg/dl erythrocytes, transferrin saturation <16%, or serum ferritin ≤15 μg/l. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin <13.5 g/dl in men and <12.0 g/dl in women.
Among women (n = 6,666), 13.7% had iron deficiency and 4.0% had iron deficiency anemia. Whereas 316 women with iron deficiency had A1C ≥5.5%, only 32 women with iron deficiency had A1C ≥6.5%. Among men (n = 3,869), only 13 had iron deficiency and A1C ≥5.5%, and only 1 had iron deficiency and A1C ≥6.5%. Among women, iron deficiency was associated with a greater odds of A1C ≥5.5% (odds ratio 1.39 [95% CI 1.11–1.73]) after adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, and waist circumference but not with a greater odds of A1C ≥6.5% (0.79 [0.33–1.85]).
Iron deficiency is common among women and is associated with shifts in A1C distribution from <5.5 to ≥5.5%. Further research is needed to examine whether iron deficiency is associated with shifts at higher A1C levels.
PMCID: PMC2845027  PMID: 20067959
7.  Does frank diabetes in first-degree relatives of a pregnant woman affect the likelihood of her developing gestational diabetes mellitus or non-gestational diabetes? 
To examine the associations between patterns of family histories of diabetes and a history of gestational diabetes (hGDM).
Study Design
Parous women participating in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n=4566) were classified as having hGDM only, diagnosed diabetes, or neither. Family history of diabetes was categorized as: maternal-only, paternal-only, biparental, and sibling-only. The covariate-adjusted prevalence and odds of having hGDM were estimated.
Compared to women without a family history of diabetes, women with a maternal history of diabetes (odds ratio 3.0, 95% CI 1.2-7.3), paternal history of diabetes (odds ratio 3.3, 95% CI 1.1-10.2), or a sibling history of diabetes (odds ratio 7.1, 95% CI 1.6-30.9) had greater odds of hGDM, after adjustment for age and race/ethnicity.
Women with a sibling history of diabetes were more likely to have hGDM than women with other family history patterns.
PMCID: PMC2789883  PMID: 19691951
gestational diabetes; family history; sibling
8.  Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profiles in Women with Histories of Gestational Diabetes but Without Current Diabetes 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2008;112(4):875-883.
To compare the cardiovascular disease risk factor profiles of parous women with a history of gestational diabetes who had not developed diabetes, parous women with diagnosed diabetes, and parous women with neither condition.
We conducted cross-sectional analyses of 4,631 parous women who were not currently pregnant in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). Women were classified by self-report as having a history of gestational diabetes who were not currently diabetic (n=85), diagnosed diabetics (n=218), or as having neither condition (n=4,328). We compared these groups with respect to cholesterol subtypes, blood pressure, uric acid, microalbuminuria, insulin, and glucose, and clustering of risk factors, before and after adjustment for demographic and behavioral factors and central obesity.
In unadjusted comparisons, women who had a history of gestational diabetes who were not currently diabetics had a more favorable or similar risk factor profile compared to unaffected women, with two exceptions: greater levels of mean fasting glucose (94.0 mg/dl vs. 106.8 mg/dl, p<0.001) and mean fasting insulin (10.2 IU/l vs. 14.0 IU/l, p<0.001). These patterns were attenuated after adjustment for demographic factors and waist circumference, but remained significant for fasting glucose and the ratio of urine microalbumin/creatinine. Parous women with diagnosed diabetes had significantly worse cardiovascular disease risk profiles than unaffected women before and after adjustment.
Women who had a history of gestational diabetes who were not currently diabetics have a similar cardiovascular disease risk profile to unaffected women, with the exception of insulin and glucose levels.
PMCID: PMC2610423  PMID: 18827131
9.  The Missed Patient With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2008;31(9):1748-1753.
OBJECTIVE—This study examined the association between access to health care and three classifications of diabetes status: diagnosed, undiagnosed, and no diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Using data from the 1999–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we identified 110 “missed patients” (fasting plasma glucose >125 mg/dl but without diagnoses of diabetes), 704 patients with diagnosed diabetes, and 4,782 people without diabetes among adults aged 18–64 years. The population percentage undetected among adults with diabetes and the odds ratio of being undetected among adults who reported not having diabetes were compared between groups based on their access to health care.
RESULTS—Among those with diabetes, the percentages having undetected diabetes were 42.2% (95% CI 36.7–47.7) among the uninsured, 25.9% (22.9–28.9) among the insured, 49.3% (43.0–55.6) for those uninsured >1 year, 38.7% (29.2–48.2) for those uninsured ≤1 year, and 24.5% (21.7–27.3) for those continuously insured over the past year. Type of insurance, number of times receiving health care in the past year, and routine patterns of health care utilization were also associated with undetected diabetes. Multivariate adjustment indicated that having undetected diabetes was associated with being uninsured (odds ratio 1.7 [95% CI 1.0–2.9]) and with being uninsured >1 year (2.6 [1.4–5.0]).
CONCLUSIONS—Limited access to health care, especially being uninsured and going without insurance for a long period, was significantly associated with being a “missed patient” with diabetes. Efforts to increase detection of diabetes may need to address issues of access to care.
PMCID: PMC2518339  PMID: 18753665
10.  Inflammation Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Diagnosed Diabetes in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey  
Diabetes Care  2008;31(7):1386-1388.
OBJECTIVE—We compared inflammatory markers among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (hGDM), women with diagnosed diabetes, and unaffected women in a population-based sample.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We conducted cross-sectional analyses of 6,346 nonpregnant women in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988–1994). Women were classified as having hGDM (n = 87), diagnosed diabetes (n = 244), or neither condition (n = 6,015). Inflammatory markers included ferritin, leukocyte count, and C-reactive protein levels.
RESULTS—After adjustment, women with diagnosed diabetes had the most marked differences in inflammatory markers compared with unaffected women. Differences between unaffected women and women with hGDM were minimal.
CONCLUSIONS—Women with diagnosed diabetes have less favorable inflammation profiles than unaffected women and greater ferritin levels than women with hGDM. After adjustment, women with hGDM who have not developed diagnosed diabetes have inflammation profiles similar to those of unaffected women.
PMCID: PMC2453639  PMID: 18375415
11.  Correlates of Bone Mineral Density among Postmenopausal Women of African Caribbean Ancestry: Tobago Women’s Health Study 
Bone  2008;43(1):156-161.
Population dynamics predict a drastic growth in the number of older minority women, and resultant increases in the number of fractures. Low bone mineral density (BMD) is an important risk factor for fracture. Many studies have identified the lifestyle and health related factors that correlate with BMD in Whites. Few studies have focused on non-Whites. The objective of the current analyses is to examine the lifestyle, anthropometric and health related factors that are correlated with BMD in a population based cohort of Caribbean women of West African ancestry. We enrolled 340 postmenopausal women residing on the Caribbean Island of Tobago. Participants completed a questionnaire and had anthropometric measures taken. Hip BMD was measured by DXA. We estimated volumetric BMD by calculating bone mineral apparent density (BMAD). BMD was 10% and 20% higher across all age groups in Tobagonian women compared to US non-Hispanic Black and White women, respectively. In multiple linear regression models, 35–36% of the variability in femoral neck and total hip BMD respectively was predicted. Each 16 kilogram (one standard deviation (SD)) increase in weight was associated with 7% higher BMD; and weight explained over 10% of the variability of BMD. Each eight year (1 SD) increase in age was associated with 6% lower BMD. Current use of both thiazide diuretics and oral hypoglycemic medication were associated with 4–5% higher BMD. For femoral neck BMAD, 26% of the variability was explained by a multiple linear regression model. Current statin use was associated with 5% higher BMAD and a history of breast feeding or coronary heart disease were associated with 1–1.5% of higher BMAD. In conclusion, African Caribbean women have the highest BMD on a population level reported to date for women. This may reflect low European admixture. Correlates of BMD among Caribbean women of West African ancestry were similar to those reported for U.S. Black and White women.
PMCID: PMC2519239  PMID: 18448413
Osteoporosis; epidemiology; African ancestry continental group; bone densitometry; women
12.  Educational disparities in health behaviors among patients with diabetes: the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:308.
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.
PMCID: PMC2238766  PMID: 17967177
14.  Fruit, vegetable and fat intake in a population-based sample of African Americans. 
BACKGROUND: African Americans experience high rates of obesity and other chronic diseases, which may be related, in part, to diet. However, little is known about dietary patterns in this population, particularly from population-based data sources. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted of 2,172 African-American adults in Project DIRECT (Diabetes Interventions Reaching and Educating Communities Together). A baseline assessment was conducted using a multistaged population-based probability sample from Raleigh and Greensboro, NC. Daily fruit, vegetable and fat intake was evaluated using a modified version of the Block questionnaire, and then stratified results were analyzed by sociodemographic, health and behavior characteristics. STATA Survey commands were used to account for the complex survey design. RESULTS: Overall, a very small number of participants met national recommendations for > or = 2 servings of fruit (8%) and > or = 3 servings of vegetables (16%) per day. Many participants reported eating high-fat foods; the average daily fat intake was 86 g, and the average daily intake from saturated fat was 24 g. People with more education and higher incomes had a higher average daily fruit intake (all p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that participants' fruit, vegetable and fat intake deviated greatly from national guidelines; older people, women, participants with higher socioeconomic status and those who were physically active consumed healthier foods. These data may be useful in developing dietary and weight loss interventions for African Americans.
PMCID: PMC2568677  PMID: 15622690

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