Background: Diabetes camps are beneficial for campers, including increases in diabetes knowledge, glycemic control and psychological functioning. Racial/ethnic minority youth are likely to have poorer disease management and glycemic control, more complications, and are often managed with less intensive, less technologically advanced regimens. We hypothesized that racial/ethnic minority youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) would have reduced participation in diabetes summer camps.
Methods: We reviewed de-identified data from 5033 campers with T1D who participated in a network of 46 ADA-affiliated summer camps during the 2017 season. We performed t-tests and chi-square analysis to analyze the demographic characteristics of white vs. non-white campers.
Results: Campers with T1D came from all over the U.S. (49 states), 68.4% were return campers, 55% were female, ages ranging from 4-18 (m =11.7 ±2.8). Of campers, 73.2% were on insulin pump regimens. Camps cost $0 to $1400 (Day Camps M=$158.83 ± $103.69, Residential Camps M=$622.73 ± $274.26). Campers identified as caucasian (83.9%), black (4.8%), Hispanic (3.9%), Asian/Pacific Islander (2.7%), and Multiracial (3.9%). We compared ethnicity data to the 2009 SEARCH data from children and adolescents where T1D prevalence was 72% in caucasians, 9% black, 15% Hispanic and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander. Camper demographics were significantly different than the general population of children with T1D (p<0.001). Racial/ethnic minority status was associated with type of camp attended (day vs. residential), and minority campers were less likely to be on insulin pump therapy.
Conclusions: Children of ethnic minorities with diabetes are underrepresented in diabetes camps nationwide compared to the prevalence of diabetes in each minority group as described by the SEARCH study. This highlights the need to assess barriers to camp attendance in these communities and to design outreach programs to increase minority youth participation in the diabetes camp experience.
J.M. Valenzuela: None. M.T. Martin: None. S. Records: None. K. O'NEal: None. K. Mueller: None. R.M. Wolf: None.