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Black, Hispanic Adults Diagnosed With Diabetes at Earlier Age

Younger age at diagnosis, longer diabetes duration over the life span may contribute to disparities in diabetes-related morbidity, mortality

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The mean age of diabetes diagnosis is four to seven years younger in non-Hispanic Black and Mexican American adults versus White adults in the United States, according to a research letter published online Sept. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Michael C. Wang, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues pooled data for two-year cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011 through 2018) to compare self-reported age at diabetes diagnosis by race/ethnicity among 3,022 U.S. adults.

The researchers found that the mean age at diabetes diagnosis overall was 49.9 years. Compared with non-Hispanic White adults (mean age, 51.8 years), Mexican American and non-Hispanic Black adults reported a significantly younger mean age at diagnosis (47.2 and 44.9 years, respectively). Compared with non-Hispanic White adults (14.4 percent), the weighted proportion of adults with diabetes diagnosed at younger than 40 years was significantly greater among Mexican American adults (35.0 percent) and non-Hispanic Black adults (25.1 percent).

"Efforts to prevent and manage diabetes earlier in the life course may help reduce the substantial premature morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes," the authors write.

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