Disparities in recommended preventive care usage among persons living with diabetes in the Appalachian region

Min Woong Sohn, Hyojung Kang, Joseph S. Park, Paul Yates, Anthony McCall, George Stukenborg, Roger Anderson, Rajesh Balkrishnan, Jennifer M. Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective To examine disparities in the receipt of preventive care recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) between Appalachian and non-Appalachian counties and within Appalachian counties. Research design and methods Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data for 2008-2010 were used to identify individuals with diabetes and their preventive care usage. Each Appalachian respondent county of residence was categorised into one of the five economic levels: distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive and attainment counties. Competitive and attainment counties were combined and designated as competitive counties. We used logistic regressions to compare receipt of ADA preventive care recommendations by county economic level, adjusting for respondent demographic, socioeconomic, health and access-to-care factors. Results Compared to the most affluent (competitive) counties, less affluent (distressed and at-risk) counties demonstrated equivalent or higher rates of self-care practices such as daily blood glucose monitoring and daily foot checks. But they showed 40-50% lower uptake of annual foot and eye examinations and 30% lower uptake of diabetes education and pneumococcal vaccinations compared to competitive counties. After adjusting for demographic factors, significant disparities still existed in the uptake of annual foot examinations, annual eye examinations, 2 or more A1c tests per year and pneumococcal vaccinations in distressed and at-risk counties compared to competitive counties. Appalachian counties as a whole were similar to non-Appalachian counties in the uptake of all recommendations with the absolute differences of ≤3%. Conclusions Our results show that there are significant disparities in the uptake of many recommended preventive services between less and more affluent counties in the Appalachian region.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000284
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited.


  • Adult Diabetes
  • Eye Exam
  • Foot Care
  • Preventive Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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