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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Investigators Study Glycemic Marker Levels by Race

Although it is recognized that glycated hemoglobin (A1c) levels differ by race, racial differences among other markers of hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) are less well known. Dr. April P. Carson, associate professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, recently led a cross-sectional study of 2,692 middle-aged African American and White men and women to find out if levels of glycemic markers varied by race. Using 2005–2006 data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, levels of fasting glucose, two-hour post-challenge glucose, A1c, glycated albumin, fructosamine, and 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) were compared by race for those with and without diagnosed diabetes.

[Photo: Dr. April P. Carson]

“Among those with diagnosed diabetes, racial differences were not observed for any of the glycemic markers. In contrast, among those without diagnosed diabetes, African-Americans had higher mean levels than Whites of A1c (β=0.19% points; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14 to 0.24), glycated albumin (β=0.82% points; 95% CI 0.68 to 0.97), fructosamine (β=8.68 μmol/L; 95% CI 6.68 to 10.68), and 2-hour glucose (β=3.50 mg/dL; 95% CI 0.10 to 6.90) after multivariable adjustment, whereas there were no statistically significant racial difference in 1,5-AG. The racial differences observed for A1c, glycated albumin, and fructosamine persisted after further adjustment for fasting and two-hour glucose and were of similar magnitude” reports Dr. Carson.

She and her team concluded that the racial variances in glycemic marker levels among participants merit further research to determine if they have an effect on the risk for complications.

UAB co-investigators are Dr. Paul Muntner, professor and vice chair in the department of epidemiology; Dr. Xuelin Li, statistician in division of preventive medicine; and Dr. W. Timothy Garvey, professor and chair in the department of nutrition sciences.

“Do Glycemic Marker Levels Vary by Race? Differing Results from a Cross-Sectional Analysis of Individuals With and Without Diagnosed Diabetes” was published in June in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Journal article: