Diabetes: Increased Mortality Risk in Regardless of Race or Ethnicity

Dr. Yunsheng Ma MD, PHD, MPH Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine Department of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Yunsheng Ma MD, PHD, MPH
Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Department of Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Ma: Regardless of race/ethnicity, diabetes increases the risk of mortality the same compared to non-diabetes among different race/ethnicity. However, since there are higher prevalence of  diabetes in Black and Hispanic, death rate due to diabetes is much higher in Black and Hispanic, this is because the diabetes prevalence rates are much higher in these population. Therefore, diabetes prevention is key to reduce diabetes related mortality disparities among racial/ethnic groups.


MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Ma: The rate at which women die of diabetes-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer is the same for all postmenopausal women, regardless of race or ethnicity.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Ma: Clinical providers should discuss with women about diabetes prevention strategies including healthy diet and exercise, especially among Black and Hispanic women. When choosing anti-diabetic medications, an evaluation of woman’s physical state and comorbidities is necessary in addition to the age.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ma:  Previous research indicate diabetes treatment may be different, White may have better access to anti-diabetic medications, but that may not be helpful for mortality among postmenopausal women. We should evaluate how geriatric syndromes and age mediate the cardiovascular-morbidity and mortality related to all classes of anti-diabetic medications in aging women.

Citation:

All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality Rates in Postmenopausal White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian Women With and Without Diabetes in the United States

The Women’s Health Initiative, 1993–200
Yunsheng Ma, James R. Hébert, Raji Balasubramanian, Nicole M. Wedick, Barbara V. Howard, Milagros C. Rosal, Simin Liu, Chloe E. Bird, Barbara C. Olendzki, Judith K. Ockene, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Lawrence S. Phillips, Michael J. LaMonte, Kristin L. Schneider, Lorena Garcia, Ira S. Ockene, Philip A. Merriam, Deidre M. Sepavich, Rachel H. Mackey, Karen C. Johnson, and JoAnn E. Manson

Am. J. Epidemiol. first published online September 17, 2013 doi:10.1093/aje/kwt177

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