November 11, 2016

November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month

Add Health data include reports of diabetes status for three generations: the Add Health respondent, the respondent’s parent, and the respondent’s children. Additional measures of diabetes status for the Add Health respondent are available based on medication use and results from assayed blood spots.

As Add Health Wave V data collection continues, respondents are asked survey questions relating to their diabetes status and medication use, and the biomarker home visit will allow for the collection of objective measurements of diabetes status.


Researchers have used Add Health’s diabetes data to publish on a number of topics, including both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, finances, family history, and genetics. Please click here for a list of highlighted publications. These publications are all included in our database of over 6,000 references.

Add Health Data


Parent Questionnaire

At Wave I, parents were asked about the diabetes status of the adolescent respondent (PC49F_1), the adolescent respondent’s biological mother (PC49F_2), and the adolescent respondent’s biological father (PC49F_3).

Add Health Respondent’s Self-Reported Diabetes History

At both Waves III and IV, respondents reported if they had ever been diagnosed with diabetes (H3ID16, H4ID5D) and at what age they were diagnosed (H3ID17, H4ID6D).

Add Health Respondent’s Children

Finally, at Wave IV, respondents reported if each of their biological children has diabetes (H4KK13R).

Glucose Homeostasis

During Wave IV, Add Health collected and assayed capillary whole blood via dried blood spots and the Wave IV data includes two measures of glucose homeostasis: glucose (mg/dL) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c %). These measures are available in our Wave IV Biomarker glucose file, which is part of the Add Health restricted use data.  Full documentation of the Wave IV glucose measurements is available online: Measures of Glucose Homeostasis.


At Wave III, respondents reported if they took any medications for diabetes within the past 12 months (H3ID26E).  Respondents were also asked if they take pills, insulin, both, or neither to control blood sugar (H3ID18). At Wave IV, respondents were asked to provide an inventory of all prescription medications that they used in the past 4 weeks. These reported medications were then assigned codes indicating their therapeutic class, therapeutic subclass, and therapeutic subgroup. These measures are available in our Medication File, which is part of the Add Health restricted use data.

Joint Classification of Diabetes at Wave IV

Based on a combination of the above measures, Add Health has constructed a variable (C_JOINT), which classifies respondents as having diabetes based on:

1. Fasting glucose value (C_FGLU) or non-fasting glucose value (C_NFGLU), or
2. Hemoglobin A1c value (C_HBA1C), or
3. Self-reported history of diabetes at Wave IV (H4ID5D), or
4. Using anti-diabetic medication in the past 4 weeks (C_MED).

The above variables are available in the Wave IV Biomarker glucose file.

For full details on the classification of diabetes at Wave IV, see our Wave IV Documentation: Measures of Glucose Homeostasis

Add Health Wave V Survey

During the Wave V survey, respondents report on their diabetes status, if they take any medications for diabetes, and if each of their biological children has diabetes. During the both the survey and the home biomarker visit, respondents will be asked to provide an inventory of the medications they have taken in the past 4 weeks. During the home visit, respondents will provide whole venous blood, which will then be assayed for levels of glucose and HbA1c.