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Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2015 Aug;22(4):283-9. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000166.

Diabetes in India: what is different?

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aBarbara Davis Center for Diabetes, University of Colorado Anschutz Campus, Aurora, Colorado, USA bMadras Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr Mohan's Diabetes Specialties Centre, Chennai, India *Viral N. Shah and Viswanathan Mohan contributed equally to the writing of this article.



The purpose of this study was to review the epidemiology and pathogenesis of diabetes in Asian Indians with a particular focus on 'Asian Indian type 2 diabetes phenotype'.


The prevalence of diabetes is rapidly increasing among Asian Indians, particularly in the past two decades. The diabetes rates in urban India now exceed that seen in Indians migrated to developed nations. Urbanization, changes from traditional healthier diets to high-refined carbohydrate intake, and sedentary lifestyle have contributed to this steep increase in the prevalence of diabetes in India. Type 2 diabetes among Asian Indians is characterized by onset at a younger age, greater abdominal obesity despite relatively lower BMI, greater insulin resistance, and early decline in beta cell function. Asian Indians are also at a higher risk for premature coronary artery disease.


The clinical profile of type 2 diabetes in Asian Indians differs from Caucasians with higher central obesity, increased inflammatory markers such as high sensitive C-reactive protein, greater insulin resistance, early loss of beta cell function, and a higher risk of coronary artery disease. Mechanistic studies are needed to characterize the pathophysiology of the Asian Indian phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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