BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2020 Oct 15;20(1):449. doi: 10.1186/s12872-020-01730-8.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of death among United States women. Rural residence and ethnic-minority status are individually associated with increased CV mortality. Managing dyslipidemia is important in the prevention of CV mortality. However, the impact of race/ethnicity and location of residence on sex differences in dyslipidemia management is not well understood. Therefore, we sought to understand the joint effects of race/ethnicity and location of residence on lipid management differences between veteran men and women with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
METHODS: Veterans Health Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data were used to perform a longitudinal cohort study of veterans with T2D (2007-2016). Mixed effects logistic regression with a random intercept was used to model the association between sex and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) > 100 mg/dL and its interaction with race/ethnicity and location of residence after adjusting for all measured covariates.
RESULTS: When female sex and rural location of residence were both present, they were associated with an antagonistic harmful effect on LDL. Similar antagonistic harmful effects on LDL were observed when the joint effect of female sex and several minority race/ethnicity groups were evaluated. After adjusting for measured covariates, the odds of LDL > 100 mg/dL were higher for urban women (OR = 2.66, 95%CI 2.48-2.85) and rural women (OR = 3.26, 95%CI 2.94-3.62), compared to urban men. The odds of LDL > 100 mg/dL was the highest among non-Hispanic Black (NHB) women (OR = 5.38, 95%CI 4.45-6.51) followed by non-Hispanic White (NHW) women (OR = 2.59, 95%CI 2.44-2.77), and Hispanic women (OR = 2.56, 95%CI 1.79-3.66).
CONCLUSION: Antagonistic harmful effects on LDL were observed when both female sex and rural location of residence were present. These antagonistic effects on LDL were also present when evaluating the joint effect of female sex and several minority race/ethnicity groups. Disparities were most pronounced in NHB and rural women, who had 5.4 and 3.3 times the odds of elevated LDL versus NHW and urban men after adjusting for important covariates. These striking effect sizes in a population at high cardiovascular risk (i.e., older with T2D) suggest interventions aimed at improving lipid management are needed for individuals falling into one or more groups known to face health disparities.