Despite type 2 diabetes (T2DM) risk differences by BMI and age among populations of African descent, current T2DM screening criteria regard all black populations as one. Few studies have had opportunity to compare T2DM point prevalence among African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans living in the United States.

Objectives: This study evaluated among African American and Afro-Caribbean New Yorkers: a) point prevalence of T2DM, b) odds of T2DM, and c) contributors to T2DM odds in either group. We used 2013/14 New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NYC HANES) data for African Americans (n=208, age 42.7±15.3y (mean±SD), BMI 29.9±7.8 kg/m2) and Afro-Caribbeans (n=111, age 48.3±14.8 years, BMI 28.6±5.7 kg/m2). T2DM was defined as self-reported diagnosis by a physician, or measured HbA1c≥6.5%, or fasting plasma glucose ≥126mg/dL. BMI was based on measured height and weight. Age, socioeconomic variables and health behaviors were self-reported. Weighted logistic regression estimated T2DM odds (aOR), adjusting for age, BMI, income, marital status, smoking, fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity.

Results: Compared to African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans had higher T2DM prevalence (20.2% vs. 15.5%). Afro-Caribbeans with T2DM were younger (age 58.8±11.2y) than African Americans with T2DM (age 61.3±15.8y), and had lower BMI of 30.1±4.4 vs. 32.8±7.6kg/m2 respectively. Odds of T2DM were not different among Afro-Caribbeans and African Americans (aOR=1.85 (95%CI 0.71, 2.40, P=0.415). In separate analyses among African Americans, BMI was associated with higher T2DM odds [aOR=1.07 (95%CI 1.01, 1.14), P=0.047]. Among Afro-Caribbeans BMI was not associated with T2DM odds [aOR=1.04 (95%CI 0.96, 1.130), P=0.37].

Conclusion: To enhance detection of T2DM among African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans future screening criteria should reflect differences in T2DM risk by BMI and age by ethnic group.


M.F. Horlyck-Romanovsky: None.

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