Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-traditional risk factors illuminate racial disparities in type 2 diabetes

Date:
February 5, 2014
Source:
Duke Medicine
Summary:
Two surprising risk factors – diminished lung function and low serum potassium levels - appear to have nearly the same impact as obesity in explaining why African-Americans are disproportionately prone to developing type 2 diabetes, researchers report.

Two surprising risk factors -- diminished lung function and low serum potassium levels -- appear to have nearly the same impact as obesity in explaining why African-Americans are disproportionately prone to developing type 2 diabetes, researchers at Duke Medicine report.

The finding, published in the February print edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, clarifies some of the large racial disparities associated with diabetes risk and provides potential new avenues for developing treatments.

According to estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES), the prevalence of diabetes is 70 percent higher among African-Americans than non-Hispanic whites. Traditional risk factors such as obesity, socio-economic status, diet and behavioral factors account for some of the racial disparities, but not all.

"Other environmental, cultural, metabolic, and genetic factors are likely to contribute to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes among African-Americans," said lead author Ranee Chatterjee, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of general internal medicine at Duke.

"More recently, non-traditional risk factors have been identified, including dietary factors, markers of chronic inflammation, metabolic abnormalities, genetic markers and others," Chatterjee said. "The impact of these non-traditional risk factors on people of different races has not been studied, so we set out to see what proportion of the risk they might account for in African-Americans and whites."

Chatterjee and colleagues analyzed data from nearly 11,200 people with type 2 diabetes, including 8,840 whites and 2,322 African-Americans. Among the African-Americans, many well-known distinctions emerged: there were more women; they were heavier; they had higher blood pressure; and they were more likely to have lower incomes.

Those and other known risk factors accounted for about 42 percent of the increased tendency for type 2 diabetes among African-Americans.

Other, less well-known factors also surfaced, notably low lung function and lower serum potassium levels among the African-Americans who developed diabetes. Compared to obesity, which accounts for a 22 percent increased risk of developing diabetes, low lung function (measured as forced vital capacity) was nearly equally culpable, accounting for a 21.7 percent increased risk among the African-American diabetes patients. Low serum potassium levels accounted for 17.7 percent of the increased risk.

Chatterjee said it is unclear what role reduced lung function and low potassium levels might play in type 2 diabetes; whether they are markers, causes or consequences of the disease needs additional study. She said both factors are typically different among African-Americans and whites.

"We were surprised at the findings," Chatterjee said. "It's not clear how these non-traditional risk factors mediate the racial disparities in diabetes risk, but they suggest there are additional biological or environmental causes driving this disparity. Identifying the mediators of the racial disparities in type 2 diabetes risk may indicate where we need to focus research and development of interventions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ranee Chatterjee, Frederick L. Brancati, Tariq Shafi, David Edelman, James S. Pankow, Thomas H. Mosley, Elizabeth Selvin, Hsin Chieh Yeh. Non-Traditional Risk Factors are Important Contributors to the Racial Disparity in Diabetes Risk: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2013; 29 (2): 290 DOI: 10.1007/s11606-013-2569-z

Cite This Page:

Duke Medicine. "Non-traditional risk factors illuminate racial disparities in type 2 diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205113340.htm>.
Duke Medicine. (2014, February 5). Non-traditional risk factors illuminate racial disparities in type 2 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205113340.htm
Duke Medicine. "Non-traditional risk factors illuminate racial disparities in type 2 diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205113340.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins