Research Alert

Asian, Hispanic and Black people with diabetes differ in their development of complications like kidney failure and heart disease depending on their disease profile, according to a new study being published this Wednesday in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Prior research on diabetes subgroups has shown that some subgroups have different risks for diabetes complications but has largely been limited to white study populations,” said study author Michael Bancks, Ph.D., M.P.H, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.CThe topic of diabetes subgroups is an important research question, and our work expanded the study population to include South Asians, non-Hispanic whites, Chinese, Hispanic, and Black people to make this area of research more applicable to a broader population.

The authors identified five diabetes subgroups among 1,293 participants from two multi-ethnic U.S. study populations: older age at diabetes onset, younger age at onset, severe hyperglycemia, severe obesity, and individuals requiring insulin medication use. The most common subgroup was older onset for all race/ethnicities except for South Asians where the severe hyperglycemia subgroup was most likely. These five diabetes subgroups differed in their development of complications like kidney failure and heart disease, with some subgroups having lower risk for complications than others, even after accounting for racial/ethnic disparities in risk for these complications.

To access a copy of the embargoed study, "Association of Diabetes Subgroups with Race/Ethnicity, Risk Factor Burden and Complications: the MASALA and MESA Studies," email Colleen Williams at [email protected] 

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