Racial Minorities More Likely to be Diabetic with Lower BMI

A new study examined racial disparities among patients diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes based on body mass index (BMI). Three U.S. integrated health care systems were used to collect data on 4,906,238 patients aged ≥20 years. When standardizing for age, diabetes and prediabetes estimates were 15.9% and 33.4%, respectively. The prevalence of diabetes increased across BMI categories in all examined racial groups; this was not observed in prediabetes. Racial minorities achieved a given diabetes prevalence at lower BMIs than white patients. The prevalence of diabetes among Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and Asians was 24.6% at overweight and 26.5% at obese class 1, while among whites, diabetes prevalence was 23.7% in obese class 2. In prediabetes analyses, age-standardized prevalence in overweight among Hispanics (35.6%), Asians (38.1%), and Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (37.5%) was comparable to that of obese class 4 whites (35.3%), blacks (36.8%), and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (34.2%). The correlation between BMI and diabetes was most pronounced among whites and weakest among blacks. BMI and prediabetes were not as significantly related.

Source: Zhu Y, Sidell MA, Arterburn D, et al. Diabetes Care. 2019; doi: 10.2337/dc19-0532