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Are Mexican-Americans with undiagnosed pre-diabetes and diabetes covered by health insurance, and are they utilizing preventative care services?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Julio Guerrero, PhD, Department of Health Studies, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Alejandra Quezada, MPH, Department of Health Studies, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Mexican-Americans(MAs) are disproportionately burdened by diabetes and associated diseases.  Access to health care and utilization of preventative care services can alleviate this public health concern.  However, few studies have assessed whether at-risk individuals are utilizing health care services to prevent diabetes-related complications.  Therefore, this study examined insurance status and preventative care compliance among MAs with undiagnosed cases of pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Primary data was collected from 117 MAs living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Fasting blood glucose(FBG) was measured among MAs who had never been diagnosed with diabetes.  FBG measures of ≥100mg/dl were used to identify undiagnosed cases of pre-diabetes and diabetes.  Further analyses examined whether those participants were covered by health insurance and whether they were compliant with preventative care recommendations. 

The majority of the sample was first-generation MA (87.9%) and had no previous diagnosis of diabetes (90.2%).  The mean age and FBG for undiagnosed participants was 43.20±12.16yrs and 99.89±22.29mg/dl, respectively.  Nearly half (40.6%) of undiagnosed participants had FBG levels ≥100mg/dl.  Of those, 82.5% did not have health insurance, and 48.4% had not undergone a routine medical check-up in over 2 years; 25.8% in over 5 years.

This analysis revealed that Mexican-Americans who have limited access to health care and are non-compliant with preventative care recommendations are at risk for severe health complications.  Results provide firm basis for the need for early detection/prevention strategies to reduce the prevalence of diabetes in this ethnic group and to alleviate the economic burdens on the US health care system. 

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the relationship between limited utilization of health care services and poor health outcomes Describe the implications of this study’s results Explain the study's limitations and recommendations for future studies and preventive strategies

Keyword(s): Latinos, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of this research project. I secured funding, sought approvals from my university and the community, developed research materials, assembled the research team, and collected, entered, and analyzed the data. In addition, I have delivered several other diabetes-related presentations at APHA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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