Underserved populations without proper medical insurance have a higher risk of serious diabetes complications, especially when not receiving a diagnosis right away.
More about type 2 diabetes complications
Type 2 diabetes can cause many health complications. A third of people with diabetes do not have a diagnosis yet. In fact, it can take four to seven years to finally receive a diabetes diagnosis. At the time of diagnosis, many people already have complications from diabetes. This includes eye disease, kidney disease, low blood pressure, and heart disease. In the United States, type 2 diabetes is more common in minorities, like Latinos and non-Latino blacks. These populations face many obstacles in getting good care to manage their diabetes. For example, they might not have a job that provides insurance. Another example is that they might not have transportation for doctor visits so they have limited access to healthcare.
This study looked at the differences in the rate of diabetes and complications across different ethnicities. Specifically, they looked at newly diagnosed Latino and black adults with type 2 diabetes. Many participants were unemployed and didn’t have proper health insurance. They faced social and financial challenges that impacted their diabetes. Researchers found a very high rate of complications already present at the time of diagnosis within this group. For example, half of the participants had microvascular complications. This means damage to small blood vessels that could effect the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Also, 69.4% of participants experienced high blood pressure. These serious complications can lead to higher risk of kidney failure, amputation, or death.
In conclusion, patients without proper medical insurance are at a higher risk of developing diabetes complications. They are also more likely to not get diagnosed right away compared to those with better medical insurance. Within underinsured minority populations, it is very common to have already developed diabetes complications at the time of actual diagnosis. This can lead to worse outcomes and serious complications in the long term.