Two high-risk populations show differences in mechanisms of diabetes development

August 28, 2019

Although both Pima Indians and Asian Indians are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests the mechanisms that cause the disorder to develop may differ between the two populations. The findings were recently published in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews.  

Lisa R. Staimez, PhD, assistant professor at Rollins, is first author of the study. Her research focuses on the prevention of chronic diseases globally and the risk factors of diabetes development. 

“For the present study, our objective was to examine diabetes pathophysiology across a varied landscape of anthropometry. We examined population‐based data from Pima Indians and Asian Indians, two populations that are both considered high‐risk populations for diabetes development,” says Staimez.

The study found that Pima Indians were three times more insulin resistant than Asians, whereas Asian Indians secreted nearly three times less insulin. 

This observation suggests that there were divergent pathways in developing type 2 diabetes in the early natural history of the disease, notes Staimez.

K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, MBA, professor of global health at Rollins, is senior author of the paper. Other authors include Mohammed K. Ali from Rollins, Robert L. Hanson from National Institutes of Health, and Mohan Deepa and Viswanathan Mohan from the Madras Diabetes Research Centre in Chennai, India.

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