The High Prevalence of Diabetes in a Large Cohort of Patients Drawn From Safety Net Clinics
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The High Prevalence of Diabetes in a Large Cohort of Patients Drawn From Safety Net Clinics

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Underserved populations have been overlooked or underrepresented in research based on data from diabetes registries. We estimated diabetes prevalence using a cohort developed from the electronic health records of 3 networks of safety net clinics that provide care to underserved populations.


    ADVANCE (Accelerating Data Value Across a National Community Health Center Network) is a partnership of the OCHIN Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), the Health Choice Network (HCN), and the Fenway Health Institute (FHI), representing 97 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and 744 clinic sites in 22 US states. Among 952,316 adults with a body mass index (BMI) measurement and at least 2 outpatient visits in 2012 to 2014, we calculated diabetes prevalence using outpatient diagnoses, diagnostic laboratory results, or dispenses of anti-hyperglycemic agents no more than 730 days apart. We calculated prevalence by age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and BMI class.


    The crude prevalence of diabetes was 14.4%. Men had a higher prevalence than women (16.5% vs 13.2%); diabetes prevalence increased across age categories. White patients had the lowest prevalence (11.4%) and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, the highest prevalence (21.9%), with prevalence ranging from 15.2% to 16.5% for other race/ethnicities. The association between BMI class and diabetes prevalence was similar across all racial/ethnic groups.


    The ADVANCE diabetes cohort offers an opportunity to conduct epidemiologic and comparative effectiveness research on underserved and underrepresented individuals, who have a higher prevalence of diabetes than the general US population.

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