THURSDAY, Dec. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — There are significant race/ethnicity-associated differences in management of type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Kael Wherry, Ph.D., from Medtronic Diabetes in Northridge, California, and colleagues examined the prevalence of insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) among Medicare beneficiaries with type 1 diabetes in coverage years (CYs) 2017 to 2019 by race/ethnicity. Diabetes-related technology users were compared to nonusers by race/ethnicity, sex, average age, Medicare eligibility criteria, and visit to an endocrinologist using CY2019 data.

The researchers found that CGM and insulin pump use increased among all groups between 2017 and 2019. The prevalence of insulin pump use was <5 percent for Black and other beneficiaries, but among White beneficiaries, it increased from 14 to 18 percent. In CY2019, 57, 33.1, and 30.3 percent of White, Black, and other patients used a pump, respectively. Compared with White patients, Black patients were more likely to be Medicare-eligible due to disability/end-stage renal disease or to be Medicare/Medicaid-eligible, regardless of whether they were using technology. For all evaluated factors except visiting an endocrinologist, significant race/ethnicity differences existed between technology users and nonusers.

“We need to address the social determinants of health, including race and ethnicity, before all aspects of diabetes care become more equitable,” a coauthor said in a statement.

The study was funded by Medtronic Diabetes; all authors are employees of Medtronic Diabetes.

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