Modifiable risk factors, such as socioeconomic factors, educational attainment and access to health care, may contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in young black adults. The disease occurs twice as often in this group compared to white individuals.

Investigators reviewed the medical records of 4,251 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults trial. Individuals were in their mid-20s and followed into middle age.

In the retrospective analysis, “there was a statistically significant increased risk for incident type 2 diabetes in black vs. white individuals,” wrote study co-author Michael P. Bancks, PhD, from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues. “However, after adjustment for biological, neighborhood, psychosocial, socioeconomic and behavioral factors during young adulthood, the disparity was no longer statistically significant (hazard ratio for women, 0.79; hazard ratio for men, 0.92).”

Investigators found that, on average, black participants had worse socioeconomic status compared with white participants. Black participants were also less likely to have completed high school, work full-time, be married or have parents who completed high school. In addition, black participants were more likely than white participants to live in a poor neighborhood, the authors wrote.

“Differences in traditional, modifiable diabetes risk factors between black and white individuals may contribute to the racial disparity in diabetes incidence in middle age,” the authors wrote.


Bancks MP, et al. JAMA. 2017;doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19546.

Disclosures: Carson AP reports receipt of grants from Amgen outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.