OBJECTIVE The primary objective of this study was to analyze predictors of diabetes care consistent with performance standards among women Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinic users with disability enrollment status. METHODS This is a retrospective cohort study using VHA and Medicare files of VHA clinic users with diabetes. Diabetes care measures consisted of annual testing for hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and poor HbA(1c) (>9%) and LDL-C (> or =130 mg/dL) control in fiscal year 2000. Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were used to assess subgroup differences in diabetes care. Independent variables included demographic characteristics and physical and psychiatric comorbidities. POPULATION Study population was based on veteran women <65 years of age who used VHA clinics; we identified 2,344 women as having coexisting disability and diabetes and 2,766 women with diabetes and without disability. FINDINGS Among veteran women with diabetes and disability, 65% received > or =1 HbA(1c) test, and 54% received a LDL-C test; 25% and 30% had poor HbA(1c) and LDL-C control, respectively. In logistic regressions, none of the independent variables had significant effects on poor HbA(1c) or LDL-C control, except that African Americans were more likely to have poor HbA(1c) control than whites. Significant age effects were noted in rates of HbA(1c) and LDL testing. Comparison of diabetes care measures between women with and without disability indicated that those with disability were more likely to receive HbA(1c) and LDL-C tests; no significant differences in HbA(1c) and LDL-C control were noted. CONCLUSIONS Disability status of women veterans was not a barrier to diabetes care consistent with performance standards. Our findings suggest that to improve diabetes care, subgroup-specific interventions, rather than a global approach, are warranted.