US Latinos disproportionately face diabetes-related disparities compared to non-Latino Whites. A number of barriers, including linguistic and cultural discordance, have been consistently linked to these disparities. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing is used to assess glycemic control among individuals living with diabetes. This study aimed to compare HbA1c levels and corresponding testing rates among non-Latino Whites and Latinos with both English and Spanish preference from a national cohort of primary care patients within community health centers. We analyzed electronic health records from patients who turned 50 years of age (n = 66,921) and were diagnosed with diabetes during or prior to the study period. They also must have been under observation for at least one year from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017. We calculated the rates of HbA1c tests each person received over the number of years observed and used covariate-adjusted negative binomial regression to estimate incidence rate ratios for Spanish preferring Latinos and English preferring Latinos compared to non-Latino Whites. Spanish preferring Latinos (rate ratio = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.16–1.30), regardless of HbA1c level, had higher testing rates than non-Latino Whites and English preferring Latinos. English preferring Latinos with controlled HbA1c levels had higher rates of HbA1c testing compared to non-Latino whites. Overall, the Latinos with Spanish preference maintained higher HbA1c testing rates and had disproportionately higher rates of uncontrolled HbA1c levels compared to non-Latino whites. Future efforts should focus on understanding effective approaches to increasing engagement among Spanish preferring Latinos and addressing organizational-level barriers, given HbA1c disparities.
- Health centers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health