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Higher health risks in South Asian community

Research published today shows that people with Type 2 diabetes from the South Asian community are faring less well in managing blood glucose levels than their white counterparts.

Published in the journalthe study of 1,767 patients at Victoria Hospital, Glasgow, showed that at diagnosis, average glucose (HbA1c) levels for South Asians and white patients were similar at 7.43 per cent and 7.27 per cent.

After five years, average HbA1c levels were 8.74 per cent for South Asians and 8.09 per cent for white people. The recommended HbA1c level for people with diabetes is 6.5 per cent or below.

A reduction of HbA1c by 1 per cent has shown to reduce the risk of developing complications such as blindness, kidney disease and amputations by 37 per cent.

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK said: "Diabetes can lead to devastating health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.

"The risk of developing any of these complications can be greatly reduced by controlling blood glucose levels. We work closely with community leaders and people from ethnic minority groups to identify their needs.

"We believe that providing information, specifically aimed at our diverse communities and their healthcare professionals, play a vital role in raising awareness of the condition and how it can be effectively managed."

Professor Naveed Sattar from the University of Glasgow who led the study said: "Our research suggests the need for healthcare professionals to be particularly aggressive in diabetes management and related risk factors in South Asian patients.

"We also confirm that South Asians develop diabetes around a decade earlier than their white counterparts and at lower levels of obesity.  In other words, South Asians in general have more reasons to maintain a healthy body weight in order to prevent developing diabetes in the first place."



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