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Diabetes Ther. 2017 Oct;8(5):1163-1174. doi: 10.1007/s13300-017-0300-5. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

Detection and Management of Diabetes in England: Results from the Health Survey for England.

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School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland.
Centre for Public Health, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.



As part of a control strategy current guidance in the UK recommends more intense surveillance of HbA1C levels among those of South-east Asian or Chinese ethnicity above specified BMI thresholds. The objective of this study was to determine whether disparities in the identification and control of diabetes in England persisted despite these guidelines and assess current strategies in light of these findings.


Data were extracted from the 2013 Health Survey for England that included ethnicity, BMI status and HbA1C levels. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were used to examine relationships among undetected diabetes, poorly controlled diabetes and a range of covariates including ethnicity and BMI. Concentration indices were used to examine the socio-economic gradient in disease detection and control among and between ethnic groups.


In regression models that controlled for a range of covariates Asians were found to have a 5% point higher risk of undetected diabetes than Whites. With respect to disease management, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis were found to be at a 28% point and 21% point higher risk of poor disease control respectively than Whites. Concentration indices revealed better disease control among more affluent Whites than poor Whites, no significant pattern between income and disease management was found among Pakistanis and poorer disease control was more evident among more affluent than poorer Bangladeshis.


In the UK current guidance recommends practitioners consider testing for diabetes among South-east Asians and Chinese where BMI exceeds 23. Our findings suggest that the risk experienced by Asians in disease detection is independent of BMI and may warrant a more active screening policy than currently recommended. With respect to disease management, our findings suggest that Indians and Pakistanis experience particularly high levels of poor disease control that may also be usefully reflected in guidance.


Diabetes; Disparities; Ethnicity; Quality of care; UK

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