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Dysglycaemia in Non-Diabetic Individual from South Asians, Living in UK

Author(s): Aarabi M | Jackson PR

Journal: Iranian Journal of Public Health
ISSN 2251-6085

Volume: 34;
Issue: Sup;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: South Asian | Blood glucose | Ethnicity | Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA)

Introduction: South Asian people in the United Kingdom have a higher risk of having coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke than the general population. Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a specific type of glycosylated haemoglobin that strongly correlates with the level of ambient glycaemia during a 2-3 month period. It is not clear whether differences in traditional CHD risk factors alone fully explain the increased risk in South Asians. We aimed to compare HbA1c level in UK South Asians and Caucasians. Methods: Data from Health Survey for England 1999 were employed to study ethnic differences in fasting blood glucose and HbA1c. 535 South Asian 425 Caucasian aged 35-69 years with no history of cardiovascular diseases, taking lipid lowering medication, or diabetes, and with fasting blood glucose < 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/100) were included in the analysis. Results: The HbA1c levels ranged from 4.3-7.7% in south Asians and 4.5-6.7% in Caucasians. Its level correlated with fasting blood glucose in both South Asians and Caucasians, r = 0.36 (P< 0.001) and r = 0.28 (P< 0.001) respectively. The distribution of HbA1c in South Asians was shifted to the right as compared with that of Caucasians. Caucasians had proportionately more HbA1c values in quartiles I and II of the total population, whilst 50.3% of South Asians were in the third and fourth quartiles compared to 29.9% of Caucasian participants. Conclusions: The difference in risk of CHD between non-diabetic South Asian and Caucasians is not explained by differences in the impact of the traditional risk factors. Part may be due to higher blood sugar concentrations in non-diabetic South Asians.
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