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09-25-2020 | EASD 2020 | Conference coverage | News

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Ethnicity, obesity linked to risk for early-onset type 2 diabetes

Author: Claire Barnard


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.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2020 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

EASD virtual meeting; 21–25 September 2020


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