Racial differences in arterial stiffness among adolescents and young adults with type 2 diabetes

Pediatr Diabetes. 2012 Mar;13(2):170-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2011.00798.x. Epub 2011 Jul 25.


Background: African-American adults demonstrate a higher prevalence of cardiovascular complications including myocardial infarction and stroke. Whether similar racial disparities are present to suggest African-Americans adolescents are at higher risk to develop cardiovascular disease is not known. Thus, we compared arterial stiffness, an early marker of cardiovascular disease, in African-American and Caucasian adolescents and young adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Demographic, anthropometric, laboratory data, and arterial stiffness measures including pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (AIx) were collected in a cross-sectional study of 215 adolescents (average age 18 yr) with type 2 diabetes (55% African-American and 65% female).

Results: Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans had increased PWV (6.21 ± 0.87 vs. 6.96 ± 1.30, p < .01) and AIx (4.44 ± 11.17 vs. 7.64 ± 12.02, p = 0.05). Regression modeling demonstrated age, lipids, blood pressure, and duration of diabetes were differently associated with arterial stiffness in each race group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: African-American adolescents and young adults with type 2 diabetes have increased vascular stiffness than age-matched Caucasians. This process is mediated by different cardiovascular risk factors. These results suggest race-specific risk factor modification may be helpful to prevent early cardiovascular disease in this high risk population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / physiopathology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human