There are significant ethnic differences in the clinical and biochemical parameters of type 1 diabetes, according to data from a large multiethnic population study presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting.
“To summarize our key findings, we found that the African Caribbean individuals have a shorter duration of type 1 diabetes, and the white European and African Caribbean individuals have a higher systolic blood pressure. The African Caribbean individuals also had higher HbA1c and higher microalbuminuria, while the South Asian individuals had lower HDL levels,” Thanusha Brabarupan, a fifth-year student at the Imperial College of London, said during a presentation.
Patients were included in the United Kingdom-based study if diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before aged 35 years (n=642; 88% white European, 6% each South Asian and African Caribbean), according to data.
Brabarupan said the duration of diabetes was longest among white European patients (27 years; 95% CI, 15.6-38.4) compared with African Caribbean (20.7 years; 95% CI, 14.1-27.3) and South Asian patients (23 years; 95% CI, 13.2-32.8).
There were also notable differences in systolic BP between white Europeans (130 mm/Hg; 95% CI, 119-141), African Caribbeans (135 mm/Hg; 95% CI, 121-149) and South Asians (122 mm/Hg; 95% CI, 112-133), according to data.
“The higher systolic BP in white European and African Caribbean individuals was independent of potential confounders. This highlights the importance of assessing antihypertensive medication in ethnic groups and to see whether clinicians are starting certain ethnic groups earlier and treating those more aggressively to help lower their BP,” Brabarupan said.
HDL levels were highest among the white European (1.49 mmol/L; 95% CI, 1.21-1.77) group compared with the African Caribbean group (1.25 mmol/L; 95% CI, 0.95-1.56), and HbA1c levels appeared to vary between white Europeans (8%), African Caribbeans (9.1%) and South Asians (8.3%).
Higher microalbuminuria levels in the African Caribbean patients (3.7 mg/mmol; 95% CI, –44.5 to 51.9) compared with white Europeans (1.2 mg/mmol; 95% CI, –0.5 to 3) and South Asians (1.2 mg/mmol; 95% CI, –1.4 to 3.8) were independent of potential confounders and HbA1c, Brabarupan said.
Further study is warranted to determine the factors that underlie these phenotypic differences.
For more information:
Brabarupan T. Oral Presentation #7. Presented at: the 49th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes; Sept. 24-27, 2013; Barcelona, Spain.
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