Ethnic Minorities More Likely Than Whites To Develop Type 2 Diabetes Regardless of Weight, Study Finds
Native Hawaiians, Hispanics, blacks and Japanese-Americans are significantly more likely than whites to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes regardless of weight, even though the disease is closely linked with obesity, according to a recent study in Ethnicity and Disease, Reuters Health reports. The findings suggest that genetics might play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.
For the study, lead researcher Gertraud Maskarinec of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and colleagues examined 187,000 adults from five ethnic groups who participated in the Multiethnic Cohort Study of Diet and Cancer. Almost 12% of the participants reported having diabetes. Diabetes prevalence was about 16% in American Indians and Hispanics, 15% in blacks, 10% in Japanese-Americans and 6% in whites.
Regardless of weight, diabetes prevalence was at least two times higher among ethnic groups than whites, according to the study. The study noted the disparity remained even among normal-weight and underweight participants.
Matt Petersen of the American Diabetes Association said that regardless of ethnic group, avoiding obesity and being physically active can help prevent the onset of the disease (Reuters Health, 3/20).