Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study reveals extent of type 2 diabetes problem in black and minority ethnic populations

Date:
September 10, 2012
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
Half of all people of South Asian, African and African Caribbean descent will develop diabetes by age 80 according to a new study. The study is the first to reveal the full extent of ethnic differences in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also provides some answers as to the causes of the increased risk.

Half of all people of South Asian, African and African Caribbean descent will develop diabetes by age 80 according to a new study published September 10. The study is the first to reveal the full extent of ethnic differences in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also provides some answers as to the causes of the increased risk.

Related Articles


The findings come from the Southall and Brent REvisited (SABRE) study, a large-scale population based study funded by the Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation which has followed nearly 5000 middle-aged Londoners of European, South Asian, African and African Caribbean descent for over 20 years.

Type 2 diabetes is a long term condition that affects approximately 2.9 million people in the UK. In total, an estimated £11.9billion is spent each year on treating type 2 diabetes and its complications. Early diagnosis and careful management are vital in order to prevent complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

It has been known for some time that people of South Asian, African and African Caribbean descent are at increased risk of developing diabetes in mid-life, but it is not known why this is or whether this extra risk continues as people get older. By tracking the development of diabetes in the SABRE cohort, researchers led by Nish Chaturvedi at Imperial College London have revealed the extent of the problem in the UK and offer some explanations as to why these differences arise.

The study reveals that by age 80, twice as many British South Asian, African and African Caribbean men and women had developed diabetes compared with Europeans of the same age. Approximately half of all South Asians, Africans and African Caribbeans in the UK will develop the disease by age 80 compared with only one in five of European descent.

The study looked at individuals who did not already have type 2 diabetes at the start of the study, which began following participants aged 40 to 69 from 1988 onwards, and recorded those that developed the disease. The team found that while African, African Caribbeans and Europeans tend to be diagnosed at around the same age, 66-67 years, South Asian men were 5 years younger on average when diabetes was diagnosed, meaning that they are at even greater risk of complications.

In order to understand the causes of this increased diabetes risk, the researchers looked at a number of risk factors across the different ethnic groups.

Family history of diabetes is known to be an important risk factor for all ethnic groups. However, even though over half of South Asian, African and African Caribbean men and one third of women had a family history of diabetes, this did not explain the extra risk over their European counterparts.

It is known that the onset of type 2 diabetes is frequently preceded by an increase in insulin resistance, where the body becomes insensitive to the effects of insulin on glucose metabolism, resulting in high circulating glucose. Weight gain and obesity are known factors that can underlie increases in insulin resistance.

The team found that carrying fat around the trunk or middle of the body in mid-life together with increased resistance to the effects of insulin explained why South Asian, African and African Caribbean women are more at risk of developing diabetes than British European women. However, this explained only part of the increased risk in South Asian, African and African Caribbean men, suggesting that other factors that are as yet unknown may also play a part.

The findings are published September 10 in the journal Diabetes Care.

Dr Therese Tillin, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said "Not only does this study increase our understanding of the reasons for ethnic differences in risks of diabetes, it highlights the astonishingly high risk of diabetes in middle-aged people in our ethnic minorities and the importance of early diagnosis and careful management. Future analyses will examine methods of predicting which individuals are most risk of diabetes- the good news is that diabetes can be prevented if the warning signs are recognised early enough."

Professor Nish Chaturvedi, also from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: "We set up the SABRE study in 1988 and it is one of the largest and longest running tri-ethnic cohorts in the UK. We are enormously grateful to all the participants for their continuing support of the study, which has enabled us to begin to understand why diabetes happens in some people and not in others. We plan to extend our research to examine the roles of genes and the environment at different stages of life in causing diabetes in the three ethnic groups."

Dr Hιlθne Wilson, Research Advisor at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "This study suggests the higher rate of diabetes -- a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes -- in some South Asian and African Caribbean women is due to increased levels of obesity, particularly the build-up of fat around the waist, and higher resistance to insulin, which helps the body process sugar.

"This is a very encouraging discovery because it underlines the fact that controlling your weight by eating well and getting active can have a significant protective effect on your health. There's a wealth of existing evidence that keeping the weight off by eating a healthy balanced diet and being physically active will reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, whatever your ethnic group."

Professor Danny Altman, Head of Pathogens, Immunology and Population Health at the Wellcome Trust, said: "Chronic diseases such as diabetes are a growing threat to global health as people are not only living longer lives but also begin to develop disease at a younger age. Long-term population studies like the SABRE study are essential for helping us to understand the factors that contribute to disease and to identify the communities that are most at risk."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "Study reveals extent of type 2 diabetes problem in black and minority ethnic populations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910143402.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2012, September 10). Study reveals extent of type 2 diabetes problem in black and minority ethnic populations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910143402.htm
Wellcome Trust. "Study reveals extent of type 2 diabetes problem in black and minority ethnic populations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910143402.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins