Experiences of discrimination and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Kara M. Whitaker, Susan A. Everson-Rose, James S. Pankow, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Tené T. Lewis, Kiarri N. Kershaw, Ana V. Diez Roux, Pamela L. Lutsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiences of discrimination are associated with increased risk of adverse health outcomes; however, it is unknown whether discrimination is related to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus (diabetes). We investigated the associations of major experiences of discrimination (unfair treatment in 6 situations) and everyday discrimination (frequency of day-to-day experiences of unfair treatment) with incident diabetes among 5,310 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, enrolled in 2000-2002. Using Cox proportional hazards models, we estimated hazard ratios and confidence intervals, adjusting for demographic factors, depressive symptoms, stress, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, diet, waist circumference, and body mass index. Over a median follow-up of 9.4 years, 654 diabetes cases were accrued. Major experiences of discrimination were associated with greater risk of incident diabetes when modeled continuously (for each additional experience of discrimination, hazard ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.17) or categorically (for ≥2 experiences vs. 0, hazard ratio = 1.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.66). Similar patterns were observed when evaluating discrimination attributed to race/ethnicity or to a combination of other sources. Everyday discrimination was not associated with incident diabetes. In conclusion, major experiences of discrimination were associated with increased risk of incident diabetes, independent of obesity or behavioral and psychosocial factors. Future research is needed to explore the mechanisms of the discriminationdiabetes relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-455
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume186
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
  • discrimination
  • obesity
  • race/ethnicity
  • stress
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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    Whitaker, K. M., Everson-Rose, S. A., Pankow, J. S., Rodriguez, C. J., Lewis, T. T., Kershaw, K. N., Diez Roux, A. V., & Lutsey, P. L. (2017). Experiences of discrimination and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). American Journal of Epidemiology, 186(4), 445-455. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx047