British people of South Asian, African descent are significantly more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than their European counterparts, researchers have warned.
Half had developed the disease by the age of 80 in a study of 4,200 people living in London – approximately twice the figure for Europeans. Losing control of blood sugar levels increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle and diet. The scientists involved said that fat, particularly around the waist, could explain some, but not all of the difference, between the ethnicities.
Genetics could not explain the difference either as there were similar levels of “risky genes” across all groups. People from these communities should be screened earlier than the general population – from the age of 25 rather than 40” .The findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.