Newswise — BOSTON—One year after a prediabetes diagnosis, Asians were more likely to develop diabetes mellitus whereas Black patients were more likely to remain in prediabetes range, highlighting racial disparities in diabetes prevention, according to data presented at ENDO 2024, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Boston, Mass.

“Every year a small proportion of patients with prediabetes will progress to diabetes mellitus with some proportion of patients reverting to normal glucose levels,” said Ewelina Niedzialkowska, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, in Royal Oak, Mich. “While diet, lifestyle and genetics play a large role in the progression of prediabetes to diabetes, a better understanding is needed of the role that age, gender and race play in this progression.”

The retrospective observational study included 12,509 people (57% female, 53% white, 28% Black, and 7% Asian) ages 18-65 with prediabetes, based on having two consecutive years of HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.5%. The researchers compared the demographic characteristics of individuals who progressed to type 2 diabetes or regressed to normoglycemia within one year.

“The findings revealed that 17.9% of patients returned to normal glucose levels, while 7.21% developed diabetes within the follow-up period,” Niedzialkowska said.

Most of the patients remained in the prediabetes range, she added.

“We observed that patients who progressed to diabetes were more likely to be male and have a higher BMI,” Niedzialkowska said.

The data revealed BMI was not linked to their return to normal blood glucose.

Of note, younger patients were more likely to return to normal blood glucose levels than the older patients. However, Asian and Black patients were less likely to rebound to normal glucose levels compared to white patients. The study also showed that Asian patients had a higher risk for developing diabetes, while Black patients showed a lower risk than white patients.

“Our study results highlight important characteristics in patients with prediabetes who could be at risk of progressing to diabetes. By identifying these risk factors, we will be able to develop better tools that will allow us to intervene earlier and more effectively to prevent diabetes and provide better care for our patients, especially in specific populations that may be at higher risk of developing diabetes” Niedzialkowska said.


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