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South Asians with diabetes decline faster than whites

South Asians with diabetes deteriorate faster than white patients and should be treated 'particularly aggressively', researchers conclude.

Their study, published in Diabetic Medicine (January), found HbA1C levels in Asian patients rose significantly faster over five years than in their white counterparts.

The analysis of 210 south Asian patients and 1,557 white patients found mean HbA1C at diagnosis was 7.43 per cent and 7.27 per cent respectively.

But five years later, levels had risen to 8.74 per cent in south Asian patients and 8.09 per cent in white patients.

Study leader Professor Nav-eed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: 'Our research suggests the need for health care professionals to be particularly aggressive in diabetes management in south Asian patients. We also confirm south Asians develop diabetes around a decade earlier than their white counterparts and at lower levels of obesity.'

South Asian patients were younger at first diagnosis than their white equivalents, with lower BMI and blood pressure.

There were also significantly smaller improvements in BP and cholesterol over the follow-up period, 'in keeping with fewer prescriptions of antihypertensive agents and lipid-lowering agents', the study found.

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