Ethnic variation in the health burden of self-reported diabetes in adults aged 75 and older

Sandra A. Black, Patricia L. Jakobi, Ronald D. Rush, Anthony R. DiNuzzo, Dante Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The health burden of self-reported diabetes was compared across three ethnic groups of older adults. Methods: Analysis of variance and logistic regression were used to compare ethnic differences in the rates of co-morbid chronic health conditions, complications, and disability for older diabetics vs non-diabetics, in a sample of 173 Mexican Americans, 201 African Americans, and 181 non-Hispanic whites, all aged 75 and older. Results: The prevalence of self-reported diabetes was significantly higher in older Mexican Americans (17.6%) and African Americans (16.4%) than in non-Hispanic whites (8.5%). In all three ethnic groups, and after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, diabetics were found to be generally at higher risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and hypertension, circulation and foot problems, obesity, and impaired vision and activities of daily living. Multivariate analyses indicated that the burden of diabetes appeared to be greatest among non-Hispanic white diabetics. We suggest that this is the result of higher diabetes-mortality rates among minority diabetics at earlier ages. Conclusions: Diabetes is known to be increasing in prevalence and incidence, particularly among the elderly, the fastest growing segment of the population. Our findings indicate that regardless of ethnicity, diabetes carries an increased burden that affects both the functioning and the quality of life of older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • African Americans
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Elderly
  • Mexican Americans
  • Non-Hispanic Whites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethnic variation in the health burden of self-reported diabetes in adults aged 75 and older'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this