, Volume 49, Issue 10, pp 2234-2246
Date: 18 Jul 2006

Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk in the UK south Asian community

Abstract

A popular hypothesis for the greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in UK south Asians is that they have an increased susceptibility of developing insulin resistance in response to certain environmental factors, including obesity and adoption of a sedentary lifestyle. Insulin resistance is postulated as a central feature of the metabolic syndrome, culminating in type 2 diabetes, atherosclerotic vascular disease and CHD; a pathway potentially accelerated by migration/urbanisation. We describe and compare the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their associated risk factors in UK south Asian and white Caucasian populations to determine possible reasons for the increased preponderance of these diseases in south Asians, and highlight key evidence for optimal risk factor management. Finally, we describe a UK community-based programme that attempts to reduce the morbidity and mortality from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in south Asians through a new approach to management.