Objective: We examined how diabetes medication initiation after first diagnosis varied by race/ethnicity.

Method: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 66,939 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes using data from a large integrated healthcare system. We classified patients into 12 race/ethnicity groups (see Table) and assessed their associations with diabetes medication initiation within 1, 12 and 18 months after diagnosis. We used a modified Poisson regression to estimate risk ratios adjusted for pre-diagnosis demographics and clinical characteristics.

Results: Medications were started in 30%, 43% and 48% of patients within 1, 12 and 18 months, respectively. Within 1 month of diagnosis, Chinese, Filipino, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander were less likely to initiate a medication compared to whites. Results were consistent at 12 and 18 months, except that Japanese and blacks/African Americans were less likely to initiate compared to whites and that there was no difference between Native Hawaiian/Pacific islanders and whites at 18 months.

Conclusions: We observed persistent racial differences between patients receiving any medication following initial diabetes diagnosis, with the largest differences for several Asian populations.


A.N. Winn: None. A.J. Karter: Research Support; Self; Dexcom, Inc. E.M. Staab: None. J. Liu: None. W. Wan: None. R. Skandari: None. A.C. Knitter: None. H.H. Moffet: None. D.R. Miller: None. M.E. Peek: Research Support; Self; Merck Foundation. E. Huang: None. N. Laiteerapong: None.

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