• Article

Racial disparities in lipid control in patients with diabetes

Objectives: To describe lipid management over time in a cohort of insured patients with diabetes and evaluate differences between African American and white patients.
Study Design: Automated claims data were used to identify a cohort of 11,411 patients with diabetes in 1997 to 1998. Patients were followed through 2007.
Methods: Rates of hypercholesterolemia testing, treatment, and goal attainment were measured annually. Treatment was determined by a claim for lipid-lowering agents, and goal attainment was defined as a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level Results: During the study period, LDL-C testing increased from 48% to 70% among African American patients and from 61% to 77% among white patients. Treatment with lipid-lowering drugs increased from 23% to 56% among African American patients and 33% to 61% among white patients. The proportion at goal increased from 35% to 76% and from 24% to 59% among white and African American patients, respectively. African American patients were less likely to be tested for LDL-C (odds ratio [OR] 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73-0.86), treated with lipidlowering agents (OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.65-0.80), have their medication dosage altered (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.59-0.73), or attain LDL-C goal (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.56-0.63) compared with white patients.
Conclusions: Although rates of LDL-C testing, treatment, and goal attainment improved over time, racial disparities in dyslipidemia management continued to exist. Further studies to determine the causes of differences in management by race are warranted.

Citation

Saffar, D., Williams, K., Lafata, J. E., Divine, G., & Pladevall-Vila, M. (2012). Racial disparities in lipid control in patients with diabetes. American Journal of Managed Care, 18(6), 303-311.