Self-Care Disparities Among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes in the USAedit
Suboptimal glycemic control is more common among non-Hispanic Blacks (NHBs) and Hispanics than non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs). Disparities in the performance of self-care behaviors may contribute to this. To synthesize knowledge on current self-care disparities, we reviewed studies from January 2011-March 2016 that included NHWs, NHBs, and Hispanics with type 2 diabetes in the USA. Self-care behaviors included diet, exercise, medications, self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), self-foot exams, and not smoking. Of 1241 articles identified in PubMed, 25 met our inclusion criteria. These studies report consistent disparities in medication adherence. Surprisingly, we found consistent evidence of no disparities in exercise and some evidence of reverse disparities: compared to NHWs, Hispanics had healthier diets and NHBs had more regular SMBG. Consistent use of validated measures could further inform disparities in diet and exercise. Additional research is needed to test for disparities in self-foot exams, not smoking, and diabetes-specific problem solving and coping.