Familial history: a risk factor of type 2 diabetes among the “Aggarwal” population of Delhi, India

  • Vipin GuptaEmail author
  • Gagandeep Kaur Walia
  • Rajesh Khadgawat
  • H. K. Tony Ng
  • M. P. Sachdeva
Short Article


Anthropologically, the majority of Indian population structure could be discerned in terms of different endogamous population groups (who marry between the clans), but unfortunately we still remain unaware about the epidemiological burden of type 2 diabetes (T2D) among different endogamous groups in India. We assessed the effect of family history on the risk of T2D among the Aggarwal (endogamous caste group) population of Delhi, a hospital-based case-control association study among the target population group of Delhi. Sixty percent of the cases reported familial history of type 2 diabetes. We found that the family history of T2D among Aggarwals significantly increases the odds of disease to 2.3 (confidence interval; 1.5041 to 3.5077). Cultural hallmarks, e.g., sedentary lifestyle, high socioeconomic status, and fat-enriched vegetarian dietary habits (86 %; pure-vegetarian) were noted in the present population. These factors correlated with age, waist to hip ratio, and blood pressure, which were important indicators for T2D in our study. The family history is a pertinent risk factor of T2D in this population group and can robustly predict the risk of T2D in their family and kinship. We suggest that the familial history of diabetes can be used as a potential public health tool for conducting population and culture-based epidemiological surveys that are required for better understanding of susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes Aggarwals Endogamous population Family history 



We are thankful to Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, for providing the required support,and study population for thier cooperation in carrying out this research work.

Conflict of interest

We declare authors of this manuscript have no conflict of interest.

Author’s contributions

Vipin Gupta contributed to the research design, field-work, analysis, and paper writing; Rajesh Khadgawat contributed to the research design, field-work, and paper writing; H.K. Tony Ng contributed to the data analysis; M. P. Sachdeva contributed to the research design, field-work, and paper writing. The manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship as required by the journal have been met, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work.

Source of support

Research Fellowship of Indian Council of Medical Research


  1. 1.
    Permutt MA, Wasson J, Cox N. Genetic epidemiology of diabetes. J Clin Invest. 2009;115:1431–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bjork S, Kapur A, King H, Nair J, Ramachandran A. Global policy: aspects of diabetes in India. Health Policy. 2003;66:61–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dhananjayan R, Malati T, Brindha G, Kutala VK. Association of family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus with markers of endothelial dysfunction in South Indian population. Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2013;50:93–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Moleneaux L, Constantino M, Yue D. Strong family history predicts a younger age of onset for subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2004;6:187–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bo S, Cavallo-Perin P, Gentile L, Repetti E, Pagano G. Influence of a familial history of diabetes on the clinical characteristics of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabet Med. 2000;17:538–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bruce DG, Minnen KV, Davis WA, Mudhar J, Perret M, Subawickrama DP, et al. Maternal family history of diabetes is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:1477–83.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nolan CJ, Damm P, Prentki M. Type 2 diabetes across generations: from pathophysiology to prevention and management. Lancet. 2011;378:169–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mishra D, Singh HP. Kuppuswamy’s socioeconomic status scale—a revision. Indian J Pediatr. 2003;70:273–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ramachandran A, Snehalatha C, Baskar ADS, Mary S, Kumar CKS, Selvam S, et al. Temporal changes in prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance associated with lifestyle transition occurring in the rural population in India. Diabetologia. 2007;47:860–5.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reich D, Thangaraj K, Patterson N, Price AL, Singh L. Reconstructing Indian population history. Nature. 2009;461:489–94.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Channa VC. Caste: identity and continuity. New Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation; 1979.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yoon KH, Lee JH, Kim JW, Cho JH, Choi YH, Ko SH, et al. Epidemic obesity and type 2 diabetes in Asia. Lancet. 2006;368:1681–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Viswanathan M, McCarthy MI, Snehalatha C, Hitman GA, Ramachandran A. Familial aggregation of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in south India; absence of excess maternal transmission. Diab Med. 1996;13:232–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stumvoll M, Goldstein BJ, van Haeften TW. Type 2 diabetes: principles of pathogenesis and therapy. Lancet. 2005;365:1333–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elbein SC. Perspective: the search for genes for type 2 diabetes in the post-genomic era. Endocrinology. 2002;143:2012–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sibai AM, Costanian C, Tohme R, Assaad S, Hwalla N. Physical activity in adults with and without diabetes: from the ‘high-risk’ approach to the ‘population-based’ approach of prevention. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:1002.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Valdez R. Detecting undiagnosed type 2 diabetes: family history as a risk factor and screening tool. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2009;3:722–6.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vipin Gupta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gagandeep Kaur Walia
    • 2
  • Rajesh Khadgawat
    • 3
  • H. K. Tony Ng
    • 4
  • M. P. Sachdeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Public Health Foundation of IndiaGurgoanIndia
  3. 3.Department of Endocrinology & MetabolismAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Statistical ScienceSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

Personalised recommendations