NIH Clinical Center Search the Studies: Study Number, Study Title

Protocol Details

Diabetes and Heart Disease Risk in Blacks

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: 70 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

American Indian or Alaskan Native;
Hispanic or Latino;
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander;


Healthy Volunteers;
Health Disparities;
Cardiovascular Disease;
Natural History

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Cardiovascular Diseases;

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)




Supporting Site

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

It is unknown if obesity contributes to the development of heart disease in African American men and women.

This study was created to determine whether there is a relationship between sex and body size and the incidence of heart disease in African American men and women. Researchers will attempt to associate obesity with the presence of heart disease risk factors. Risk factors that will be studied include; total body fat, body fat distribution, fat content of the blood (triglyceride concentration, low density lipoproteins [LDL], and high density lipoproteins [HDL]), how fast fat is removed from the blood, and how well insulin works in the body.

Scientific studies have shown that obesity and increased levels of fat content in the blood are important risk factors for heart disease in Caucasian women. However, similar studies in African American women have failed to show the same correlation. In fact, it appears that African American women in all three body weight groupings, nonobese, overweight, and obese experience high death rates due to heart disease. In addition, prior research has shown that obese African American men tend to have elevated levels of fat in the blood while African American women have normal blood fat levels. Therefore, if high levels of triglycerides (fat found in the blood) are not seen in non-diabetic obese African American women, it cannot be considered a risk factor in this population. This suggests that studies conducted on Caucasian women may not provide insight into heart disease risk factors in African American women.

The study will take 2000 healthy non-diabetic African American men and women (ages 18-70) and body mass index 3 subgroups; nonobese, overweight and obese. Diabetes undeniably increases the risk of heart disease. Therefore patients suffering from diabetes will not be included in the study. Candidates for the study will undergo a series of tests and examinations over 2 outpatient visits. Subjects will have body fat analyses, resting energy expenditure measurements, an EKG (electrocardiogram), and specific blood tests.

Researchers believe this study will provide significant insight into the causes of obesity and heart disease in African Americans.

--Back to Top--




Ethnicity: Black

This is a study of adult African Americans and Blacks that were born in Africa but are now living in the United States. As African American people are multi-ethnic, we will in this initial investigation, study two different groups of African American. To enroll participants must self-identify as African Americans and be born in the United States, with American born parents or be born in Africa with African born parents. In both groups we will study sex differences in the role of obesity and TG levels on cardiovascular disease. In the future, we plan to expand the study to include other groups which self-identify as African Americans (i.e.AfroCarribeans and Hispanic blacks).

Only blacks are included in this study because the focus of this study is on gender differences in blacks in risk factors for CAD, specifically obesity, TG levels and TG related CAD risk factors. Unlike Caucasian women, premenopausal black women do not appear to be as protected from heart disease as a result of their gender. One model to study this apparent decrease in gender

related cardioprotection in black women is to compare black men to black women. An alternative model would be to compare black women to Caucasian women. However, since the primary focus of this work is on gender differences rather than racial differences comparing black women to men is a superior model. Other racial groups do not share the loss of gender-related cardioprotection found in blacks, and have been excluded. Further the advantage of comparing black men and women is that this comparison provides a better control of dietary, cultural and genetic factors.

Age: The age range of the participants will be between 18 and 70 years. As stated in the original protocol on page 14: Future investigations are planned which will involve similar comparisons between premenopausal and postmenopausal black women and between whites and blacks. To investigate risk for glucose intolerance, diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors, it is no longer sufficient to maintain the age range between 18 and 50 years. We need to expand to an age range with an increased prevalence of these risk factors.

Medical History: To participate in the study subjects should identify themselves as healthy. This is important so the broadest possible sample of people will enroll. The fact that people are healthy will be confirmed by the history, physical and laboratory tests done as part of the screening visit. People with established coronary artery as evidenced by history of myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass surgery or PTCA will be allowed to participate if they are not currently having angina.


Black Ethnicity other than American or African.

As stated in the inclusion criteria black people are a multi-ethnic group. In this initial investigation we are focusing on African Americans who are American born and Africans living in the United States who are African born. In the future, we will expand the study to include other groups of blacks such as individuals of Afro-Caribbean and Hispanic blacks.

Medications: People who take medications that are known to alter the parameters which are under investigation in this study will be excluded. People taking medications to treat hyperlipidemia will be included but analyses will be adjusted to take this into account. Subjects on thyroid hormone replacement will be included if their TSH is normal.

Diabetes: Because diabetes affects insulin sensitivity and TG levels all people with diabetes even if the diabetes is controlled with diet alone will not be enrolled in the study.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an infant that is less than four months of age will be excluded. This is because the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy, breastfeeding or recent childbirth affect the parameters under study.

Menstrual History: Now that postmenopausal women are included, menstrual history will be taken but women with irregular menses and hysterectomy will not be excluded. Women between the ages of 40 and 55 years will have FSH checked for proper characterization. Women 56 years of age and older will be assumed to be postmenopausal. However, women on any type of injectable hormonal contraception will be excluded because hormonal contraception affects both TG levels and glucose metabolism.

--Back to Top--


Utumatwishima JN, Chung ST, Bentley AR, Udahogora M, Sumner AE. Reversing the tide - diagnosis and prevention of T2DM in populations of African descent. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2018 Jan;14(1):45-56. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2017.127. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Kabakambira JD, Baker RL Jr, Briker SM, Courville AB, Mabundo LS, DuBose CW, Chung ST, Eckel RH, Sumner AE. Do current guidelines for waist circumference apply to black Africans? Prediction of insulin resistance by waist circumference among Africans living in America. BMJ Glob Health. 2018 Oct 15;3(5):e001057. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001057. eCollection 2018.

Briker SM, Aduwo JY, Mugeni R, Horlyck-Romanovsky MF, DuBose CW, Mabundo LS, Hormenu T, Chung ST, Ha J, Sherman A, Sumner AE. A1C Underperforms as a Diagnostic Test in Africans Even in the Absence of Nutritional Deficiencies, Anemia and Hemoglobinopathies: Insight From the Africans in America Study. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019 Aug 7;10:533. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00533. eCollection 2019.

--Back to Top--


Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Anne E. Sumner, M.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
NIHBC 10 - CRC BG RM 6-5950
(301) 402-7119

Christopher W. DuBose, C.R.N.P.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
NIHBC 10 - CRC BG RM 5-5750
(301) 594-9698

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


--Back to Top--