Racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes diagnosis and glycemic control among women of reproductive age


Britton, Laura E.; Hussey, Jon M.; Crandell, Jamie L.; Berry, Diane C.; Brooks, Jada L.; & Bryant, Amy G. (2018). Racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes diagnosis and glycemic control among women of reproductive age. Journal of Women's Health.


Background Types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus complicate pregnancies and threaten the health of women of reproductive age and their children. Among older adults, diabetes morbidity disproportionately burdens racial/ethnic minorities, but diabetes emergence among younger adults has not been as well characterized. The objective of this study was to describe the distribution of diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, suboptimal preconception glycemic control, and prediabetes among women of reproductive age across racial/ethnic backgrounds. Materials and Methods We analyzed data collected in 2007–2008 from 6774 nonpregnant women, ages 24–32, in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Prediabetes and undiagnosed diabetes were identified by fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) and diagnosed diabetes by self-report or antihyperglycemic medication use. We used multinomial regression models to predict prediabetes or diabetes versus normoglycemia. Within women with diabetes, we used logistic regression to predict those being undiagnosed and having suboptimal preconception glycemic control based on A1C. Results The estimated prevalence of diabetes was 6.8%, of which 45.3% was undiagnosed. Diabetes prevalence varied by race/ethnicity (p < 0.001): 15.0% of non-Hispanic black women (75.6% undiagnosed), 7.5% of Hispanic women (48.1% undiagnosed), 4.8% of non-Hispanic white women (22.8% undiagnosed), and 4.5% of Asian women (11.4% undiagnosed). The prevalence of prediabetes was highest in non-Hispanic black (38.5%), followed by Hispanic (27.8%), Asian (25.1%), Native American (20.3%), and non-Hispanic white (16.6%) women. Conclusions Racial/ethnic disparities exist among women of reproductive age with prediabetes and diabetes. Meeting their healthcare needs requires addressing health inequities and coordination of diabetes management with reproductive health.




Diabetes Prediabetes Preconception Disparities

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Women's Health


Britton, Laura E.
Hussey, Jon M.
Crandell, Jamie L.
Berry, Diane C.
Brooks, Jada L.
Bryant, Amy G.

Year Published



May 14, 2018



Reference ID