The co-existence of diabetes and subclinical atherosclerosis in rural central Appalachia: Do residential characteristics matter?

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J Diabetes Complications. 2021 Jan 9:107851. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2021.107851. Online ahead of print.


Aim Disparities exist in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes in the United States (U.S.) with Central Appalachia having disproportionate burden. This study examined prevalence and correlates of CVD risk-factors among patients with diabetes/subclinical atherosclerosis in Central Appalachia.

METHODS: During 2012-2016, 3000 patients from Central Appalachia were screened for subclinical atherosclerosis, using coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores; 419 participants had diabetes. Patients were categorized into four groups, with emphasis on those having subclinical atherosclerosis, CAC score ≥ 1. Descriptive statistics and multilevel multinomial logistic regression were conducted to identify CVD risk and spatial factors associated with co-existence of diabetes and subclinical atherosclerosis.

RESULTS: Among participants, prevalence of CVD risk-factors ranged from 11.7% for current smokers to 69.2% for those with CVD family history. Average BMI was 29.8. Compared to patients with diabetes only, age [RR = 1.07; p ≤ 0.0001], being male [RR = 5.33; p ≤ 0.0001], having hypertension [RR = 2.37; p ≤ 0.05] and being a former smoker were associated with increased likelihood of having diabetes/subclinical atherosclerosis. At the zip-code level, unemployment rate [RR = 1.37; p ≤ 0.05] was significantly associated with having diabetes/subclinical atherosclerosis.

CONCLUSION: Consistent with clinical guidelines, study results suggest the need to integrate CAC screening into primary care diabetes programs while addressing spatial issues that predispose patients to have diabetes/subclinical atherosclerosis.

PMID:33468398 | DOI:10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2021.107851