Racial disparities, screening, type 2 diabetes



  1. Joy, Alexa J. DNP, APRN, FNP-C
  2. Duckworth, Laurie PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
  3. Scarton, Lisa PhD, RN


Background: More than 7 million Americans aged 18 years and older have undiagnosed diabetes. As primary health care moves toward preventative medicine, it is important that diabetes screening deficits are addressed.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify current screening rates among racial and ethnic minorities who are considered at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


Methodology: Data were collected through an IRB-approved i2b2 database from previously consented patients who had been treated at a large academic health center and outpatient facilities. Patients who were included in this study were those seen in outpatient settings between June 2011 and June 2019, aged 18-39 years at high risk for developing T2DM, defined as those of a racial and ethnic minority background, obese, and with a family history of T2DM.


Results: Approximately 1,476 +/- 3 individuals were identified as high risk, and of those, only 106 +/- 3 (13.9%) were screened for T2DM between June 2011 and June 2019. Following the American Diabetes Association guidelines of including body mass index >=25 kg/m2, approximately 1,263 +/- 3 of the original 1,476 patients were identified as overweight with high risk, and of those patients, only 90 +/- 3 (13.8%) were screened.


Conclusions: Findings indicate that less than 14% of patients at high risk for developing T2DM in their lifetime are being screened.


Implementations: Screening strategies need to be developed and implemented to better identify individuals at high risk of developing T2DM, which may lead to earlier diagnosis, treatment, and decreased disease burden.