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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Oct;15(5):898-902. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9689-0.

Age and glycemic control among low-income Latinos.

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Department of Pediatrics, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA 94143-0318, USA.


Younger adult patients with diabetes often have poorer glycemic control (HbA1c) than older patients. It is not known if this relationship holds true in the Latino population. Objective was to explore the relationship between age and HbA1c in a Mexican American population and what plausible factors might mediate this relationship. We analyzed data from 387 patients with diabetes self-identified as Mexican American recruited as a part of a cross-sectional study of safety net patients in two cities. Patients completed questionnaires and their last HbA1c was extracted from the medical record. We conducted multivariate regression analyses and Baron and Kenny tests of mediation. Participants were young with mean age of 53 ± 12 years. Younger age was associated with a higher HbA1c and having a higher fat diet. High fat diet partially mediated the relationship between age and HbA1c (p < 0.001 to p < 0.01). Age's indirect effect on HbA1c through diet was significant (Sobel = -2.44, p = 0.01). Younger Mexican American patients had higher HbA1c compared to older patients. Having a diet high in fat partially explained this relationship. Future epidemiological studies are needed to understand the multifaceted relationship between age and glycemic control.

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