FACTORS RELATED TO DIABETES AND DIABETIC CONTROL AMONG RURAL MEXICAN AMERICAN ADULTS AND ELDERS

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2013-04-12

Authors

Ho, Eric

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Abstract

Purpose: Diabetes is a serious public health issue that affects nearly 26 million people in the United States, and Mexican Americans comprise approximately 13% of that pool. Mexican Americans exhibit higher rates of diabetes and are, more often, poorly controlled. The goal of this study is to explore factors influencing glycemic control among rural Mexican American adults and elders in the United States. Methods: Data is analyzed from 576 participants (341 non Hispanic and 235 Mexican American) of Project FRONTIER: an ongoing epidemiological study of factors impacting rural aging and health. Variables used in this study include: age, language of interview, reading and writing ability for primary language, a designated primary care physician, caregiver status, income, Geriatric Depression Scale assessment, Mini Mental State Examination, and duration of diabetes. Analyses of demographic characteristics between ethnic groups are conducted via t-tests or X2 analyses. The links between clinical findings, demographic data, and HbA1c levels are carried out via linear regression. Analyses are split by ethnicity and diabetes diagnosis. Results: Among non-Hispanic whites, annual household income (B=0.04, SE=0.007, t=4.97, p<0.001), GDS30 scores (B=0.03, SE=0.016, t=2.04, p=0.04) and MMSE scores (B=-0.076, SE=0.03, t=-2.52, p=0.012) are significantly related to HbAlc levels. None of the variables are significantly related to HbAlc levels among Mexican Americans. Among non-Hispanic whites with diabetes (n=43), age is the only variable significantly related to HbAlc levels (B=-0.08, SE=0.03, t=-2.59, p=0.01). For Mexican Americans with diabetes (n=60), duration of diabetes (B=0.13, SE=0.03, t=3.63, p=0.001) is the only variable significantly related to HbAlc levels accounting for 19% of the variance. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the factors related to HbA1c levels vary by ethnicity. Duration of diabetes is the only variable found to be significantly related to diabetic control in Mexican American adults and elders. The current findings suggest that adults, or elders, may need additional medical attention by physicians as they age.

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