Ethnic differences in glycaemic control in people with diabetes living in Scotland


Background and Aims
Previous studies have investigated the association between ethnicity and processes of care and intermediate outcomes of diabetes, but there are limited population-based studies available. The aim of this study was to use population-based data to investigate the relationships between ethnicity and glycaemic control in men and women with diabetes mellitus living in Scotland.

We used a 2008 extract from the population-based national electronic diabetes database of Scotland. The association between ethnicity with mean glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus was examined in a retrospective cohort study, including adjustment for a number of variables including age, sex, socioeconomic status, body mass index (BMI), prescribed treatment and duration of diabetes.

Complete data for analyses were available for 56,333 White Scottish adults, 2,535 Pakistanis, 857 Indians, 427 Chinese and 223 African-Caribbeans. All other ethnic groups had significantly (p<0.05) greater proportions of people with suboptimal glycaemic control (HbA1c >58 mmol/mol, 7.5%) compared to the White Scottish group, despite generally younger mean age and lower BMI. Fully adjusted odds ratios for suboptimal glycaemic control were significantly higher among Pakistanis and Indians (1.85, 95% CI: 1.68–2.04, and 1.62,95% CI: 1.38–1.89) respectively.

Pakistanis and Indians with type 2 diabetes mellitus were more likely to have suboptimal glycaemic control than the white Scottish population. Further research on health services and self-management are needed to understand the association between ethnicity and glycaemic control to address ethnic disparities in glycaemic control.

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Preeti H. Negandhi equal contributor, Nazim Ghouri equal contributor mail, Helen M. Colhoun, Colin M. Fischbacher, Robert S. Lindsay, John A. McKnight, John Petrie, Sam Philip, Naveed Sattar, Sarah H. Wild, on behalf of the Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group.