Does the association of diabetes with stroke risk differ by age, race, and sex? Results from the reasons for geographic and racial differences in stroke (REGARDS) study

Academic Article


  • Objective: Given temporal changes in diabetes prevalence and stroke incidence, this study investigated age, race, and sex differences in the diabetes-stroke association in a contemporary prospective cohort, the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study. Research Design and Methods: We included 23,002 non-Hispanic black and white U.S. adults aged ≥45 years without prevalent stroke at baseline (2003-2007). Diabetes was defined as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, random glucose ≥200 mg/dL, or use of glucose-lowering medication. Incident stroke events were expert adjudicated and available through September 2017. Results: The prevalence of diabetes was 19.1% at baseline. During follow-up, 1,018 stroke events occurred. Among adults aged <65 years, comparing those with diabetes to those without diabetes, the risk of stroke was increased for white women (hazard ratio [HR] 3.72 [95% CI 2.10-6.57]), black women (HR 1.88 [95% CI 1.22-2.90]), and white men (HR 2.01 [95% CI 1.27-3.27]) but not black men (HR 1.27 [95% CI 0.77- 2.10]) after multivariable adjustment. Among those aged ≥65 years, diabetes increased the risk of stroke for white women and black men, but not black women (HR 1.05 [95% CI 0.74-1.48]) or white men (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.62-1.21]). Conclusions: In this contemporary cohort, the diabetes-stroke association varied by age, race, and sex together, with a more pronounced effect observed among adults aged <65 years. With the recent increase in the burden of diabetes complications at younger ages in the U.S., additional efforts are needed earlier in life for stroke prevention among adults with diabetes.
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    Author List

  • Malla G; Long DL; Judd SE; Irvin MR; Kissela BM; Lackland DT; Safford MM; Levine DA; Howard VJ; Howard G
  • Start Page

  • 1966
  • End Page

  • 1972
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 10