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Diabet Med. 1995 Oct;12(10):904-10.

Diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Asian Indian Bhatia community living in Tanzania and in the United Kingdom.

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Hindu Mandal Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


A population-based cross-sectional survey was carried out to study potential environmental risk factors contributing to diabetes and cardiovascular risk in the same homogeneous group in the United Kingdom and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Dar es Salaam, 222 members of the Bhatia community aged 15 years and over were studied. In the UK, 180 randomly selected subjects aged 15 years and over participated. Age, sex, and body mass index adjusted mean levels of fasting glucose (5.5 mmol l-1 vs 5.1 mmol l-1 (p < 0.001)) and 2 h glucose (6.8 mmol l-1 vs 6.0 mmol l-1 (p < 0.001)) were significantly higher in Tanzanian subjects than in UK subjects. Mean levels of serum triglycerides (1.5 mmol l-1 vs. 1.3 mmol l-1 (p < 0.05)) and systolic blood pressure (135 mmHg vs 127 mmHG (p < 0.05) were significantly higher in subjects in the UK. The age and sex adjusted prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (28.4% vs 11.4% (p < 0.001)), newly diagnosed diabetes (8.6 % vs 1.5% (p < 0.01)), hypercholesterolaemia (9.9% vs 1.5% (p < 0.001)), and smoking (12.1% vs 3.9% (p < 0.01)) were significantly higher in subjects in Tanzania compared to subjects in the UK. The prevalence of known diabetes, hypertriglyceridaemia, hypertension, and obesity did not show significant differences between subjects in Tanzania and those in the UK. Within the same homogeneous community with the same likely genetic predisposition, there are substantial geographical differences in cardiovascular risk factors, the causes of which remain to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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