Background: Diabetes (DM) is more prevalent among rural adults in the U.S. However, it is unclear if coronary heart disease (CHD) risk among adults with DM varies by urbanicity.

Methods: This study included 3,578 of the REGARDS Study participants with DM at baseline (2003-07). Each participant’s address was categorized as urban, large rural, small rural or isolated small rural tract using Rural and Urban Commuting Areas categories. Incident CHD events through 12/31/2016 were adjudicated. Cox regression with robust standard errors accounting for geographic clustering was used to obtain hazard ratios and 95% CIs.

Results: Mean age of participants was 64.8 years, 56% were women, and 60% were Black adults. At baseline, 82.5% lived in urban, 10.7% in large rural, 5.3% in small rural and 1.5% in isolated small rural tracts. During a median 9.4 years, 358 incident CHD events occurred. CHD incidence among those in isolated small rural tracts was doubled compared to urban tracts, while those in large or small rural tracts had similar rates as those in urban tracts (Table). Controlling for individual-level and community-level factors minimally attenuated the association.

Conclusion: Differences in the environmental attributes of these communities may contribute to the increased risk of CHD in isolated rural areas.


G. Malla: None. D. Long: None. A. Cherrington: None. M. Safford: None. D.M. Cummings: Research Support; Self; Novo Nordisk Inc. T.P. McAlexander: None. S. De Silva: None. S. Judd: None. B. Hidalgo: None. E.B. Levitan: Advisory Panel; Self; Amgen. Consultant; Self; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Research Support; Self; Amgen. A.P. Carson: Research Support; Self; Amgen.


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Institutes of Health; Department of Health and Human Services (U01NS041588); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U01DP006302)

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