One small change could help better diagnose diabetes
Latino, Black and Asian adults are more likely to have diabetes at lower body mass indexes than non-Hispanic white adults, suggesting doctors should lower the threshold for testing.
The big picture: The estimated rate of undiagnosed diabetes among Latino adults is 4.4%, compared to 2.7% for white non-Hispanics, CDC data shows.
- For Black and Asian adults it's 4.7% and 5.4%, respectively.
State of play: Senate Republicans earlier this month blocked a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that would have capped insulin prices for people with private insurance.
What to know: The national recommendations for when to test for type 2 diabetes — starting regularly for someone 35 years old who is overweight or obese — reflect mostly studies with white participants, researchers in a recent study say.
- Instead of using a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 as the marker for getting tested, the study’s authors recommend screening Black and Hispanic Americans starting at 18.5 kg/m2, and Asian Americans at 20 kg/m2.
What they’re saying: “Fixing the health disparities for Americans with diabetes will require a range of strategic investments in health care and efforts to reduce structural inequities,” study author Rahul Aggarwal, a cardiology fellow at Harvard, said in a news release.
- “Making screening more equitable is a place to start.”
Yes, but: Insulin, key to treating diabetes, has doubled in cost in the past few years, making it especially unattainable for people of color who have much higher rates of uninsurance.
- About 14% of people who need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels spend “catastrophic” amounts of their income on them, according to a study published last month.