Fwd: Risk of Diabetes in South Asians
- Begin forwarded message:
> From: Mayraj Fahim <fmayraj@...>
> Date: March 31, 2005 1:28:42 PM EST
> To: imran@...
> Subject: Risk of Diabetes in South Asians
> Asian Indian
> Ancestry Raises
> Risk Of Diabetes
> PEOPLE OF ASIAN INDIAN ancestry are at increased risk for type 2
> diabetes, even when they are thin, according to articles in the
> December 2003 and June 2004 issues of the Journal of Clinical
> Endocrinology and Metabolism. The researchers found that people of
> Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi ancestry-all considered "Asian
> Indian" for these studies-are metabolically and genetically different
> from those of European descent. (Traditionally, anthropologists have
> classified Asian Indians as "Caucasians" In these studies, however,
> those descended from Europeans are referred to as "Caucasians")
> Scientists already knew that insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
> are common in India. The new research studied people living in the
> United States.
> In the December 2003 study, the research team looked at whether two
> genes suspected to cause insulin resistance occur more often among
> people of Asian Indian ancestry than among Caucasians. They also
> investigated whether people who had these genes were more insulin
> resistant than those who didn't.
> There were 738 subjects of European ancestry and 638 subjects of Asian
> Indian ancestry; some of the Asian Indians were recent immigrants, and
> others had been born in the United States. Genetic tests found that
> one of the two suspect genes, called PC-1 121 Q, occurred
> significantly more often in the Asian Indians. Blood tests also showed
> that Asian Indians with this gene were less insulin sensitive than
> Asian Indians without it. Among Caucasians, the gene did not affect
> insulin sensitivity in this study.
> The researchers concluded that the PC-1 121Q gene is strongly
> associated with insulin resistance among Asian Indians in the United
> States. Because insulin resistance raises the risk of type 2 diabetes,
> people with this gene are likely more prone to diabetes. In the June
> 2004 study, the researchers compared insulin-resistant Asian Indian
> men with less-insulin-resistant Caucasian men. They sought to find out
> whether the men's fat cells released similar amounts of leptin,
> adiponectin, and none sterified fatty acids (NEFA). (Obese people
> produce high levels of leptin and NEFA and low levels of adiponectin;
> these abnormalities may help cause the insulin resistance that often
> accompanies obesity.) The subjects were 79 Asian Indian men and 61
> Caucasian men; most of the Asian Indian men were recent immigrants to
> the United States. The Caucasians were significantly heavier than the
> Asian Indian men and had more total body fat but less trunk fat (which
> is linked to insulin resistance). However, the percentage of total
> body weight that could be attributed to fat was similar in the two
> groups. In other words, even though the Asian Indian men were much
> thinner than the Caucasian men, they had a similar proportion of fat
> and more of it was in the unhealthy trunk area.
> The researchers found that although fasting plasma glucose levels were
> similar in the two groups, the Asian Indian men had significantly
> higher fasting plasma insulin levels. In addition, the Asian Indians
> had higher NEFA and leptin levels and lower adiponectin levels than
> the Caucasian men did.
> The Asian Indians' higher levels of NEFA and leptin and lower levels
> of adiponectin suggest that the bodies of thin Asian Indians are
> metabolically similar in some ways to those of overweight Caucasians.
> The researchers concluded that Asian Indians may have a fat cell
> defect that makes them produce the wrong quantities of these three
> substances and so leads to insulin resistance, even when a person
> isn't overweight. Insulin resistance, in turn, presumably leads to a
> higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
> Together, these studies suggest that people of Asian Indian ancestry
> are genetically more prone to type 2 diabetes. Thus, it is extra
> important for people with such ancestry to stay as thin as possible,
> to exercise regularly, and to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes.
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