Race, Income, and Medical Care Spending Patterns in High-Risk Primary Care Patients: Results From the STOP-DKD (Simultaneous Risk Factor Control Using Telehealth to Slow Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease) Study.


Rationale & objective

Little is known about how socioeconomic status (SES) relates to the prioritization of medical care spending over personal expenditures in individuals with multiple comorbid conditions, and whether this relationship differs between Blacks and non-Blacks. We aimed to explore the relationship between SES, race, and medical spending among individuals with multiple comorbid conditions.

Study design

Cross-sectional evaluation of baseline data from a randomized controlled trial.

Setting & participants

The STOP-DKD (Simultaneous Risk Factor Control Using Telehealth to Slow Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease) study is a completed randomized controlled trial of Duke University primary care patients with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. Participants underwent survey assessments inclusive of measures of socio-demographics and medication adherence.


Race (Black or non-Black) and socioeconomic status (income, education, and employment).


The primary outcomes were based on 4 questions related to spending, asking about reduced spending on basic/leisure needs or using savings to pay for medical care. Participants were also asked if they skipped medications to make them last longer.

Analytical approach

Multivariable logistic regression stratified by race and adjusted for age, sex, and household chaos was used to determine the independent effects of SES components on spending.


Of 263 STOP-DKD participants, 144 (55%) were Black. Compared with non-Blacks, Black participants had lower incomes with similar levels of education and employment but were more likely to reduce spending on basic needs (29.2% vs 13.5%), leisure activities (35.4% vs 20.2%), and to skip medications (31.3% vs 15.1%), all P < 0.05. After multivariable adjustment, Black race was associated with increased odds of reduced basic spending (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.14-4.60), reduced leisure spending (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.05-3.58), and skipping medications (OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.12-4.04).


This study was conducted at a single site in Durham, North Carolina, and nearly exclusively included insured patients. Further, the impact of the number of comorbid conditions, medication costs, or copayments was not assessed.


In primary care patients with multiple chronic diseases, Black patients are more likely to reduce spending on basic needs and leisure activities to afford their medical care than non-Black patients of equivalent SES.

Clinicaltrialsgov identifier






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Machen, Leah, Clemontina A Davenport, Megan Oakes, Hayden B Bosworth, Uptal D Patel and Clarissa Diamantidis (2022). Race, Income, and Medical Care Spending Patterns in High-Risk Primary Care Patients: Results From the STOP-DKD (Simultaneous Risk Factor Control Using Telehealth to Slow Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease) Study. Kidney medicine, 4(1). p. 100382. 10.1016/j.xkme.2021.08.016 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29626.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Tina Davenport

Biostatistician, Senior

Clemontina A. Davenport earned a MSTAT and PhD in Statistics at NC State University. Dr. Davenport has extensive collaborative research experience investigating factors that may explain racial disparities in health outcomes, primarily in kidney disease, but also in diabetes, hypertension cardiovascular disease, and other areas. She teaches a first-year masters level class and is passionate about teaching, mentorship, and the importance of diversity and equity in research and healthcare.


Uptal Dinesh Patel

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

Uptal Patel, MD is an Adjunct Professor interested in population health with a broad range of clinical and research experience. As an adult and pediatric nephrologist with training in health services and epidemiology, his work seeks to improve population health for patients with  kidney diseases through improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Prior efforts focused on four inter-related areas that are essential to improving kidney health: i) reducing the progression of chronic kidney disease by improving its detection and management, particularly by leveraging technology to facilitate engagement and self-management; ii) elucidating the inter-relationships between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, which together amplify the risk of death; iii) improving the evidence in nephrology through comparative effectiveness research, including clinical trials, observational studies, and meta-analyses; and iv) promoting more optimal clinical health policy for all patients with kidney disease. These inter-disciplinary projects have been funded by a variety of public and private sources including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Renal Physicians Association, and the American Society of Nephrology. 

Current efforts seek to advance novel therapies for kidney diseases through early clinical development that he leads at AstraZeneca.


Clarissa Jonas Diamantidis

Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine

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