Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease (S Malik, Section Editor)

Current Cardiology Reports

, 16:476

First online:

Diabetes and Associated Complications in the South Asian Population

  • Arti ShahAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, University of California
  • , Alka M. KanayaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California Email author 

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The rising prevalence of diabetes in South Asians has significant health and economic implications. South Asians are predisposed to the development of diabetes due to biologic causes which are exacerbated by lifestyle and environmental factors. Furthermore, they experience significant morbidity and mortality from complications of diabetes, most notably coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Therefore, understanding the pathophysiology and genetics of diabetes risk factors and its associated complications in South Asians is paramount to curbing the diabetes epidemic. With this understanding, the appropriate screening, preventative and therapeutic strategies can be implemented and further developed. In this review, we discuss in detail the biologic and lifestyle factors that predispose South Asians to diabetes and review the epidemiology and pathophysiology of microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes in South Asians. We also review the ongoing and completed diabetes prevention and management studies in South Asians.


South Asians Type 2 diabetes Diabetes risk factors Diabetes complications Genetics of diabetes Diabetes prevention