United States Veterans are at excess risk for type 2 diabetes, but population differentials in risk have not been characterized. We determined risk of type 2 diabetes in relation to prediabetes and dyslipidemic profiles in Veterans at the VA New York Harbor (VA NYHHS) during 2004–2014. Prediabetes was based on American Diabetes Association hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing cut-points, one of several possible criteria used to define prediabetes. We evaluated transition to type 2 diabetes in 4,297 normoglycemic Veterans and 7,060 Veterans with prediabetes. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to relate HbA1c levels, lipid profiles, demographic, anthropometric and comorbid cardiovascular factors to incident diabetes (Hazard Ratio [HR] and 95% confidence intervals). Compared to normoglycemic Veterans (HbA1c: 5.0–5.6%; 31–38 mmol/mol), risks for diabetes were >2-fold in the moderate prediabetes risk group (HbA1c: 5.7–5.9%; 39–41 mmol/mol) (HR 2.37 [1.98–2.85]) and >5-fold in the high risk prediabetes group (HbA1c: 6.0–6.4%; 42–46 mmol/mol) (HR 5.59 [4.75–6.58]). Risks for diabetes were increased with elevated VLDL (40mg/dl; HR 1.31 [1.09–1.58]) and TG/HDL (1.5mg/dl; HR 1.34 [1.12–1.59]), and decreased with elevated HDL (35mg/dl; HR 0.80 [0.67–0.96]). Transition to diabetes in Veterans was related in age-stratified risk score analyses to HbA1c, VLDL, HDL and TG/HDL, BMI, hypertension and race, with 5-year risk differentials of 62% for the lowest (5-year risk, 13.5%) vs. the highest quartile (5-year risk, 21.9%) of the risk score. This investigation identified substantial differentials in risk of diabetes in Veterans, based on a readily-derived risk score suitable for risk stratification for type 2 diabetes prevention.
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