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J Diabetes Complications. 2010 May-Jun;24(3):145-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2009.01.003. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Prevalence of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk factors in US Asian Indians: results from a national study.

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  • 1Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA. <>



Although studies of immigrant Asian Indians in other countries show high rates of diabetes (DM), metabolic syndrome (MetS), and cardiovascular disease (CVD), no randomized, population-based studies of this rapidly growing ethnic group exist in the US.


The sample comprised 1038 randomly selected Asian Indian immigrants, aged 18 years and older at seven US sites. Prevalence of diabetes and MetS (age-adjusted and sex-adjusted means) was estimated and ANOVA was used to calculate gender and group differences (normoglycemia/impaired fasting glucose/diabetes) for CVD risk factors.


The mean age was 48.2 years. The majority of respondents were male, married, educated, and with some form of health insurance. Prevalence of diabetes was 17.4%, and 33% of the respondents had prediabetes. Cardiovascular risk factors, especially high levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein, and low levels of HDL cholesterol, were also prevalent; elevated lipoprotein(a) was not observed. The age-adjusted prevalence of MetS was 26.9% by the original NCEP/ATP III criteria, 32.7% by the modified NCEP/ATP III criteria, and 38.2% by the IDF criteria. The MetS rates for women, but not for men, increased with age using all three criteria. There was a progressive worsening of all metabolic parameters as individuals progressed from normal to IFG to diabetes.


The prevalence rates of diabetes and MetS among US Asian Indians are higher than reported in earlier, nonrandomized, smaller surveys. These data provide a firm basis for future mechanistic and interventional studies.

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