Effect of socioeconomic status on hyperglycemia and retinopathy levels in Mexican Americans with NIDDM

S. M. Haffner, H. P. Hazuda, M. P. Stern, J. K. Patterson, W. A.J. Van Heuven, D. Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Mexican Americans have a threefold greater prevalence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) than non-Hispanic Whites. Moreover, Mexican-American diabetic people have more severe hyperglycemia and diabetic retinopathy than non-Hispanic White diabetic people. Mexican Americans are predominantly of low socioeconomic status (SES), and low-SES Mexican Americans have a higher prevalence of NIDDM than higher-SES Mexican Americans. Therefore, we hypothesized that among diabetic people, low SES would be associated with more severe hyperglycemia and retinopathy. Three hundred forty-three Mexican Americans and 79 non-Hispanic Whites with NIDDM were identified from the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hyperglycemia was assessed as the sum of the fasting, 1-h, and 2-h plasma glucose concentrations during a standard oral glucose tolerance test. Retinopathy was assessed by 7 standard stereoretinal photographs. SES was assessed with three indicators: Ducan's socioeconomic index, education, and income. Contrary to expectations, low SES was not associated with greater levels of hyperglycemia or grades of retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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