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Ethn Dis. 2007 Winter;17(1):135-42.

Racial and ethnic disparities in self-monitoring of blood glucose among US adults: a qualitative review.

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  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1084, USA.



To review existing data to determine whether racial/ethnic disparities exist for self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) among adults in the United States.


A literature search of diabetes-related studies published from 1970 through June 2005 was conducted. Our search strategy included SMBG in minority populations with diabetes.


Studies were selected for review if they reported SMBG rates from a specific racial/ethnic minority group or if there were comparisons of SMBG rates across racial/ethnic groups.


Twenty-two studies were reviewed that met the search criteria. Twelve studies included data from a single racial/ethnic minority group, and 10 studies included comparisons between non-Hispanic Whites and at least one racial/ethnic minority group. Data represented studies conducted in a variety of settings, such as healthcare facilities in a state or region of the United States and nationally representative surveys. Most of the data indicate that SMBG rates are generally low, regardless of the population. In comparative studies, some racial/ethnic differences overall were found in SMBG rates among all racial/ethnic minority groups when compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Across studies, patients taking insulin performed SMBG more frequently than did those not taking insulin.


Despite widespread recommendations for self-monitoring of blood glucose, compliance is reported to be low in all groups in the United States, especially among racial/ ethnic minorities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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