Study Confirms Increased Risk, Earlier Onset of Diabetes in South East Asians

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Adam Tabak MD
Clinical Research Associate Epidemiology & Public Health
Institute of Epidemiology & Health
Faculty of Population Health Sciences
University College London, UK

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  

Dr. Tabak: Some of the major findings are confirmatory, such as the almost 3 times increased risk and an earlier onset of type 2 diabetes among south Asians, and a decreased insulin sensitivity in this ethnic group. The major novel finding is related to the fact that we could model events before diabetes diagnosis. We found a faster increase in fasting glucose before the diagnosis is south Asians compared to whites and that although insulin secretion increased in both ethnicities until 7 years before diagnosis, this increase was faster among whites.

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Tabak: Given the known increased insulin resistance of south Asians, we expected to see a faster increase in postload glucose in this group, however these trajectories were similar in both ethnicities and overlapping.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Tabak: First, that south Asians have a faster increase in their glucose values before diabetes diagnosis that earlier detection may be possible for south Asians based on increasing glucose values, giving a longer window of opportunity for prevention.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Tabak: We think that inadequate insulin secretion is a very important factor in the development of type 2 diabetes in south Asians that was rarely investigated in this ethnic group before given their substantially increased insulin resistance. First, we hope that beta-cell function will be more frequently investigated in south Asians and that this kind of longitudinal analysis (trajectories based on mixed models) will spread and will be utilized by other research groups

Citation:
Abstract presented at the 2014 European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)

Trajectories of glycaemic traits in south Asians and whites before diabetes
diagnosis: a longitudinal analysis from the Whitehall II study
A.G. Tabák E.J. Brunner D.R. Witte K. Faerch D. Vistisen S. Ikehara M. Kivimaki Hulmán 1st Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Faculty of Medicine, Budapest,Hungary,Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK,Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé, Strassen, Luxembourg,Steno Diabetes Center,Gentofte, Denmark,Osaka University, Japan,University of Szeged, Hungary.