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Life-Course Socioeconomic Position and Incidence of Diabetes Mellitus Among Blacks and Whites: The Alameda County Study, 1965-1999

Publication Abstract

Maty, S.C., Sherman James, and George A. Kaplan. 2010. "Life-Course Socioeconomic Position and Incidence of Diabetes Mellitus Among Blacks and Whites: The Alameda County Study, 1965-1999." American Journal of Public Health, 100(1): 137-145.

Objectives. We examined associations between several life-course socioeconomic position (SEP) measures (childhood SEP, education, income, occupation) and diabetes incidence from 1965 to 1999 in a sample of 5422 diabetes-free Black and White participants in the Alameda County Study. Methods. Race-specific Cox proportional hazard models estimated diabetes risk associated with each SEP measure. Demographic confounders (age, gender, marital status) and potential pathway components (physical inactivity, body composition, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, depression, access to health care) were included as covariates. Results. Diabetes incidence was twice as high for Blacks as for Whites. Diabetes risk factors independently increased risk, but effect sizes were greater among Whites. Low childhood SEP elevated risk for both racial groups. Protective effects were suggested for low education and blue-collar occupation among Blacks, but these factors increased risk for Whites. Income was protective for Whites but not Blacks. Covariate adjustment had negligible effects on associations between each SEP measure and diabetes incidence for both racial groups. Conclusions. These findings suggest an important role for life-course SEP measures in determining risk of diabetes, regardless of race and after adjustment for factors that may confound or mediate these associations. (Am J Public Health. 2010;100:137-145. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.133892)

DOI:10.2105/ajph.2008.133892 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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