The association between acanthosis nigricans and dysglycemia in an ethnically diverse group of eighth grade students

Authors


  • Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

  • Funding agencies: This work was funded by NIDDK/NIH (U01-DK61230, U01-DK61249, U01-DK61231, and U01-DK61223 to the STOPP-T2D collaborative group).

Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of acanthosis nigricans (AN) and to quantify its association with dysglycemia in an ethnically diverse group of eighth-grade students.

Design and Methods:

Data were collected in 2003 from a cross-sectional study of students from 12 middle schools in three US states. Sex, race/ethnicity, and pubertal status were self-reported. Anthropometric measures were recorded. Trained staff identified the presence and severity of AN by inspection of the back of the neck. Fasting and 2 h blood samples were analyzed for impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and high-risk glycated hemoglobin (A1C), respectively, defined as ≥100 mg/dl, ≥140 mg/dl, and ≥ 5.7-6.4%.

Results:

Overall, 25.0%, 58.2%, and 16.8% were Black, Hispanic, and White, respectively. AN was present among 406/1,438 (28.2%) of students: 39% among Black, 30% among Hispanic, and 5.4% among White. IGT and high-risk A1C were present among 2.1%, and 12.4%, respectively. In multivariate logistic modeling after adjusting for gender, family history of diabetes, BMI percentile, and pubertal staging, the presence (vs. absence) of AN was associated with a 59% increased likelihood of high-risk A1C: (P = 0.04), twice the likelihood of IGT (P = 0.06), and 47% greater likelihood of IGT/IFG combined (P < 0.0001). Adjustment for insulin attenuated the ORs by 25-70%.

Conclusion:

In a racially/ethnically diverse sample of US adolescents, AN was common, occurring in 28% of the sample. AN was associated with a 50-100% increased likelihood of dysglycemia even after consideration of established diabetes risk factors.

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