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Diabetes Prevalence Higher for Black, Hispanic, Asian Americans

For those aged 35 years with BMI of 25 kg/m2, prevalence of diabetes significantly higher for racial/ethnic minorities versus Whites

MONDAY, May 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans aged 35 years have a higher prevalence of diabetes than Whites at a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2, according to a study published online May 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Rahul Aggarwal, M.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues examined the BMI thresholds for diabetes screening in major racial/ethnic-minority populations in a cross-sectional study using data for 19,335 nonpregnant U.S. adults aged 18 to 70 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2018. The equivalent BMI thresholds, defined as the BMI at which the prevalence of diabetes in a 35-year-old in a specific group was equal to that of a 35-year-old White adult at a BMI of 25 kg/m2 was estimated for each racial/ethnic-minority group.

The researchers found that the prevalence of diabetes in Asian Americans, Black Americans, and Hispanic Americans was significantly higher compared with White Americans among adults aged 35 years with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 (3.8, 3.5, and 3.0 percent, respectively, versus 1.4 percent). For Asian Americans, Black Americans, and Hispanic Americans, the equivalent BMI thresholds for diabetes prevalence comparable to a BMI threshold of 25 kg/m2 in White Americans were 20 kg/m2, <18.5 kg/m2, and 18.5 kg/m2, respectively.

“Future studies should examine the health effect and cost-effectiveness of implementing screening thresholds specific to race/ethnicity to reduce disparities in diabetes diagnosis,” the authors write.

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