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Overweight Hispanic children at significant risk for pre-diabetes, according to new USC study
Date:8/12/2008

A study by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found that overweight Hispanic children are at significant risk for pre-diabetes, a condition marked by higher than normal blood glucose levels that are not yet high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. The persistence of pre-diabetes during growth is associated with progression in risk towards future diabetes, according to the study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Diabetes, and is now available online.

With a population of more than 35 million, Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States. Despite the fact that Hispanics are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, few previous studies have looked at physiological causes of the disease within this population.

Researchers led by Michael I. Goran, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine, physiology and biophysics and pediatrics, and director of the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, followed a cohort of 128 overweight Hispanic children in East Los Angeles. The children were tested over four consecutive years for glucose tolerance, body mass index, total body fat and lean mass and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The study found that an alarming 13% of the children had what the investigators termed "persistent pre-diabetes."

Most prior studies examining pre-diabetes in overweight and obese children looked at a one-time assessment of metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but fluctuations over time led to poor reliability for these tests. In the new study, Goran and colleagues examined longitudinal data to look at a progression of risk factors over four years. Children were identified as having persistent pre-diabetes if they had three to four positive tests over four annual visits. The children who had persistent pre-diabetes had signs of compromised beta-cell function, meaning that th
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Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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