Disparities in Biomarkers for Patients With Diabetes After the Affordable Care Act

Miguel Marino, Heather Angier, Katie Fankhauser, Steele Valenzuela, Megan Hoopes, John Heintzman, Jennifer DeVoe, Laura Moreno, Nathalie Huguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by diabetes and at greater risk of experiencing poor diabetes-related outcomes compared with non-Hispanic whites. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented to increase health insurance coverage and reduce health disparities. OBJECTIVE: Assess changes in diabetes-associated biomarkers [hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and low-density lipoprotein] 24 months pre-ACA to 24 months post-ACA Medicaid expansion by race/ethnicity and insurance group. RESEARCH DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of community health center (CHC) patients. SUBJECTS: Patients aged 19-64 with diabetes living in 1 of 10 Medicaid expansion states with ≥1 CHC visit and ≥1 HbA1c measurement in both the pre-ACA and the post-ACA time periods (N=13,342). METHODS: Linear mixed effects and Cox regression modeled outcome measures. RESULTS: Overall, 33.5% of patients were non-Hispanic white, 51.2% Hispanic, and 15.3% non-Hispanic black. Newly insured Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites post-ACA exhibited modest reductions in HbA1c levels, similar benefit was not observed among non-Hispanic black patients. The largest reduction was among newly insured Hispanics versus newly insured non-Hispanic whites (P<0.05). For the subset of patients who had uncontrolled HbA1c (HbA1c≥9%) within 3 months of the ACA Medicaid expansion, non-Hispanic black patients who were newly insured gained the highest rate of controlled HbA1c (hazard ratio=2.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-4.66) relative to the continuously insured group. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health disparities is multifaceted and may differ across racial/ethnic groups. This study highlights the importance of CHCs for the health of minority populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S31-S39
JournalMedical care
Volume58 Suppl 6 Suppl 1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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