Clinical Outcomes for Low-Income Adults With Hypertension and Diabetes

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BackgroundLong-term management of hypertension and diabetes, which are more prevalent in minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, presents challenges for healthcare providers in community health centers.ObjectivesThe purpose of the study was twofold: to examine health outcomes for persons with hypertension and diabetes and to compare these outcomes for disparities in patients who were Black, Hispanic, or White.MethodsMedical records (N = 280) from an urban community health center that serves predominantly uninsured adults were reviewed for selected clinical outcomes of primary care. Measures included outcomes of hypertension and diabetes control, lifestyle behaviors, preventive care, and patient status. Chi-square tests, t tests, and one-way analysis of covariance were used to analyze racial/ethnic group differences.ResultsData revealed significant differences in smoking status, influenza immunization, and blood pressure. Racial/ethnic group differences were minimal compared with the overall high prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and obesity. Regular access to primary care did not result in improved clinical outcomes.ConclusionThe findings support the need for more effective interventions that promote healthy lifestyle if health disparities in low-income populations with chronic conditions are to be reduced.

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