There are doubts whether diabetes care is equitable across UK ethnic groups. We examined processes and outcomes in South Asians with diabetes and reviewed the UK literature.Methods
We used name search methods to identify South Asians in a regional diabetes database. We compared prevalence rates, processes and outcomes of care between November 2003 and December 2004. We used standard literature search techniques.Results
The prevalence of diabetes in South Asians was 3–4 times higher than non-South Asians. South Asians were 1.11 times (95% confidence interval 1.06, 1.16) more likely to have a structured review. South Asian women were 1.10 times more likely to have a record of body mass index (95% CI 1.04, 1.16). HbA1c levels were 1.03 times higher (95% CI 1.00, 1.06) among South Asians, retinopathy 1.36 times more common (95% CI 1.03, 1.78) and hypertension 0.71 times as common (95% CI 0.58, 0.87).Conclusions
We found evidence of equity in many aspects of diabetes care for South Asians in Tayside. The finding of higher HbA1c and more retinopathy among South Asians needs explanation and a service response. These findings from a region with a small non-White population largely support the recent findings from other parts of the UK.