(HealthDay News) — High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is associated with diabetes in African-Americans, according to a study published online June 11 in Diabetes Care.

Valery S. Effoe, MD, from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC, and colleagues examined the correlation between hs-CRP and incident diabetes in a large African-American cohort (3,340 participants; aged 53.3 ± 12.5 years). Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated for incident diabetes after adjustment for cofounding variables.

The researchers found that 17.4% of participants developed diabetes during a median follow-up of 7.5 years. The HR (hs-CRP third vs. first quartile) was 1.64 after adjustment (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26–2.13). The association was attenuated in separate models after further adjustment for body mass index (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.97–1.69) and waist circumference (HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.03–1.78). The association was no longer significant after adding homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMAIR). The hs-CRP-diabetes association seemed stronger in participants with HOMAIR <3.0 vs. ≥3.0 in adjusted HOMAIR-stratified analysis (P<0.0001 for interaction). The correlation was stronger among nonobese, although after adjustment for HOMAIR it was no longer significant.

“Low-grade inflammation, as measured by hs-CRP level, may have an important role in the development of diabetes among African-Americans with a lesser degree of insulin resistance,” the authors write.

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