The COVID-19 pandemic heightened awareness of pervasive healthcare inequities in the United States. Race, education, economic status, and other “social determinants of health” are recognized for the role they play in health outcomes. The impact of these factors is complex but changeable. There is hope; a pathway does exist to achieve equity and improve care for all.

New research presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 82nd Scientific Sessions suggests applying a quality improvement framework with principles of health equity can improve outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). This framework and equity principles could potentially be applied to other disease categories, as well.

The findings point to an ongoing disparity in T1D care. In the six-year study (2016-2021) of 36,390 children and adults with T1D, it found persisting health inequities among minority groups with T1D, despite improvements in treatments and technology, such as the uptake of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices. CGMs and insulin pumps have improved diabetes management, but their use varies by population.

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