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Mayo Researchers Look for Explanation Behind High Incidence of Diabetes Among Asian Indians
Date:2/29/2008

ROCHESTER, Minn., Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The incidence of type 2 diabetes is rising, especially in urbanized parts of the world where sedentary lifestyles and obesity abound. In addition to weight and inactivity, race puts some people at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The incidence of diabetes is rapidly increasing globally, and Asian Indians have the highest prevalence. An estimated 32 million Asian Indians have been diagnosed with this condition, and some experts expect this number to double over the next 30 years. In a study published in the March issue of Diabetes, Mayo researchers examined whether Asian Indians have observable differences in the way their cells convert nutrient fuel to available energy and whether these differences may increase the risk for diabetes.

"We know that Asian Indians are highly susceptible to this condition, and they often acquire the disease at an earlier age and at lower body mass index than people of European origin," explains Mayo endocrinologist K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., the study's lead researcher. "The question we asked is whether any metabolic differences between Asian Indians and Americans of Northern European origin can explain the higher incidence of diabetes in Indians."

Once known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body utilizes sugar (glucose). People with type 2 diabetes don't produce enough insulin -- a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into cells -- and their cells resist the effects of insulin (insulin-resistant). While death rates due to heart attack, stroke and even cancer are decreasing, deaths related to diabetes are increasing. Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of cardiovascular deaths, kidney failure, blindness, sexual dysfunction and many other chronic complications.

Mayo researchers studied 13 diabetic Indians, 13 nondiabetic Indians, and 13 nond
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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