medwireNews: The development of type 2 diabetes at a young age disproportionately affects people of South Asian and African–Caribbean ethnicity, and obesity is associated with early-onset diabetes in all ethnic groups, indicates research presented at the virtual 56th EASD Annual Meeting.
In their cross-sectional study, Janthula Ranchagoda (Imperial College London, UK) and team analyzed primary care medical records from 33,666 individuals with type 2 diabetes, of whom 7672 were diagnosed at the age of 18–44 years and classified as having early-onset diabetes.
When patients were grouped by ethnicity, rates of early-onset diabetes were significantly higher among the 17,955 South Asian and the 2975 African–Caribbean people compared with the 3658 White people, at 30.6% and 25.8% versus 15.7%, respectively.
Ranchagoda said that there was “significant obesity” associated with early relative to later-onset diabetes among people from all ethnic groups, and higher BMI was associated with younger age at diagnosis of early-onset diabetes, indicating that the condition is “very much driven” by obesity.
The presenter also noted that South Asians with early-onset diabetes had lower BMI on average than their counterparts with White or African–Caribbean ethnicity, at 30.3 versus 34.8 and 33.7 kg/m2, respectively.
“Targeted strategies are required to address prevention, treatment, and risk factors” for the “rapidly expanding” group of people with early-onset type 2 diabetes, he concluded.
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