Association of community types and features in a case-control analysis of new onset type 2 diabetes across a diverse geography in Pennsylvania

B. S. Schwartz, Jonathan Pollak, Melissa N. Poulsen, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Katherine Moon, Joseph Dewalle, Karen Siegel, Carla Mercado, Giuseppina Imperatore, Annemarie G. Hirsch

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2 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate associations of community types and features with new onset type 2 diabetes in diverse communities. Understanding the location and scale of geographic disparities can lead to community-level interventions. Design Nested case-control study within the open dynamic cohort of health system patients. Setting Large, integrated health system in 37 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Participants and analysis We used electronic health records to identify persons with new-onset type 2 diabetes from 2008 to 2016 (n=15 888). Persons with diabetes were age, sex and year matched (1:5) to persons without diabetes (n=79 435). We used generalised estimating equations to control for individual-level confounding variables, accounting for clustering of persons within communities. Communities were defined as (1) townships, boroughs and city census tracts; (2) urbanised area (large metro), urban cluster (small cities and towns) and rural; (3) combination of the first two; and (4) county. Community socioeconomic deprivation and greenness were evaluated alone and in models stratified by community types. Results Borough and city census tract residence (vs townships) were associated (OR (95% CI)) with higher odds of type 2 diabetes (1.10 (1.04 to 1.16) and 1.34 (1.25 to 1.44), respectively). Urbanised areas (vs rural) also had increased odds of type 2 diabetes (1.14 (1.08 to 1.21)). In the combined definition, the strongest associations (vs townships in rural areas) were city census tracts in urban clusters (1.41 (1.22 to 1.62)) and city census tracts in urbanised areas (1.33 (1.22 to 1.45)). Higher community socioeconomic deprivation and lower greenness were each associated with increased odds. Conclusions Urban residence was associated with higher odds of type 2 diabetes than for other areas. Higher community socioeconomic deprivation in city census tracts and lower greenness in all community types were also associated with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere043528
JournalBMJ open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2021


  • diabetes & endocrinology
  • epidemiology
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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