OBJECTIVE: This study examined racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a nationally representative sample of adults with and without common psychiatric disorders.
METHOD: Data were drawn from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N=34,653). Logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic variables and diabetes risk factors were used to examine racial/ethnic differences in 12-month prevalence rates of diabetes by psychiatric status.
RESULTS: Among people without psychiatric disorders, African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians/Alaska Natives, but not Asians/Pacific Islanders, had significantly higher rates of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and diabetes risk factors. In the presence of psychiatric disorders, these health disparities persisted for African Americans and Hispanics, but not for American Indians/Alaska Natives. No significant interactions between race/ethnicity and psychiatric disorders in the odds of diabetes were found across any group.
CONCLUSION: Policies and services that support culturally appropriate prevention and treatment strategies are needed to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes among people with and without psychiatric disabilities.