Exploring Racial and Ethnic Differences in Arterial Stiffness Among Youth and Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Apr 4;12(7):e028529. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.122.028529. Epub 2023 Mar 30.


Background We examined arterial stiffness in individuals with type 1 diabetes, and explored whether differences between Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black (NHB), and non-Hispanic White (NHW) individuals were attributable to modifiable clinical and social factors. Methods and Results Participants (n=1162; 22% Hispanic, 18% NHB, and 60% NHW) completed 2 to 3 research visits from ≈10 months to ≈11 years post type 1 diabetes diagnosis (mean ages of ≈9 to ≈20 years, respectively) providing data on socioeconomic factors, type 1 diabetes characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, health behaviors, quality of clinical care, and perception of clinical care. Arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV], m/s) was measured at ≈20 years of age. We analyzed differences in PWV by race and ethnicity, then explored the individual and combined impact of the clinical and social factors on these differences. PWV did not differ between Hispanic (adjusted mean 6.18 [SE 0.12]) and NHW (6.04 [0.11]) participants after adjustment for cardiovascular risks (P=0.06) and socioeconomic factors (P=0.12), or between Hispanic and NHB participants (6.36 [0.12]) after adjustment for all factors (P=0.08). PWV was higher in NHB versus NHW participants in all models (all P<0.001). Adjustment for modifiable factors reduced the difference in PWV by 15% for Hispanic versus NHW participants; by 25% for Hispanic versus NHB; and by 21% for NHB versus NHW. Conclusions Cardiovascular and socioeconomic factors explain one-quarter of the racial and ethnic differences in PWV of young people with type 1 diabetes, but NHB individuals still experienced greater PWV. Exploration of pervasive inequities potentially driving these persistent differences is needed.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; disparities; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / diagnosis
  • Ethnicity
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • White
  • Young Adult