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Diabetologia. 2005 Sep;48(9):1756-65. Epub 2005 Jul 22.

Marked differences in the IGF system that are associated with migration in comparable populations of Gujaratis living in Sandwell, UK, and Gujarat, India.

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Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Salford Royal Hospitals University Trust, Hope Hospital, University of Manchester, Stott Lane, Salford, Greater Manchester, M6 8HD, UK.



We previously reported independent links between the IGF system and the development of impaired glucose tolerance and cardiovascular risk. This study tests the hypothesis that the lifestyle change which accompanies population migration, with attendant increases in cardiovascular risk, is reflected by changes in the IGF system.


We compared a specific Gujarati community in Sandwell, UK (n=205), with people still resident in the same villages of origin near Navsari, India (n=246). We performed anthropometry and measured fasting plasma insulin, IGF-I, insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-1 and IGFBP-3.


Daily calorie intake, BMI and WHR were significantly higher in UK Gujaratis than in Indian Gujaratis. IGFBP-1 was significantly lower in UK migrants (mean 29.5 [95% CI 25.9-33.0] vs 56.5 [50.6-62.5] microg/l; F=48.4, p<0.001). Conversely, fasting insulin, IGFBP-3 and IGF-I were all higher in UK Gujaratis (mean IGF-I 145.9 [138.1-153.6]ng/ml in UK Gujaratis and 100.9 [94.6-107.3] ng/ml in Navsari Gujaratis; F=76.6, p<0.001). These differences were still apparent when adjustment was made for BMI by location for IGF-I (F=57.4, p<0.001) and IGFBP-3 (F=5.7, p=0.02), but were no longer apparent for IGFBP-1 and insulin. At the population level, the decrease in IGFBP-1 for a given increase in insulin was significantly smaller in UK Gujaratis, suggesting greater hepatic insulin resistance in this group.


Environmental factors have profound effects on circulating IGF system components and on the relationship between IGFBP-1, IGF-I and related metabolic variables. This may have long-term implications for the development of worsening glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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