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Invited Commentary
September 7, 2021

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Age at Diabetes Diagnosis—A Call for Action

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco
  • 3Editorial Fellow, JAMA Internal Medicine
  • 4Associate Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.4949

In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Wang et al1 conducted a cross-sectional analysis of pooled National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2011 to 2018 to examine racial and ethnic differences in age at diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. They found that the mean (95% CI) age at diagnosis for Mexican American adults (44.9 [43.4-46.4] years) and non-Hispanic Black adults (47.2 [46.1-48.4] years) was significantly younger than that for non-Hispanic White individuals (51.8 [50.8-52.9] years). Asian American individuals’ mean (95% CI) age at onset (50.5 [48.4-52.6] years) was not significantly different from that of non-Hispanic White individuals. The authors1 suggest that younger age at diagnosis—and correspondingly longer diabetes duration over the life span—may be a contributing factor to racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes-related morbidity and mortality.2

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