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South Asians with Type 1 Diabetes: An Overlooked Population

South Asians with Type 1 Diabetes: An Overlooked Population


  • First Systematic Review of Outcomes for South Asians with T1D vs white Europeans and Africans; searched 2 databases for studies published in English from 1946-February 2016.

  • Compared to white Europeans with T1D, South Asians with T1D have: higher mortality; especially South Asian women whose mortality rate is more than 2 times higher vs non-South Asians with T1D in the UK population

  • Compared to Africans with T1D, South Asians with T1D have: Lower microalbuminuria; lower A1c, lower systolic BP.

  • Study limitations: outcomes not comparable across studies; poor study quality in general, most were retrospective observational or cross-sectional.

  • Authors' comments: Given the close association between glycaemic control with CVD and excess mortality in T1D, and the higher HbA1c in the South Asian population, the findings of this systematic review call for more aggressive glycaemic control in the South Asian T1D population.

  • First systematic review comparing outcomes for South Asians with T1D to other racial/ethnic groups; SA with T1D, especially women, have higher mortality rates than WE with T1D; the principle cause of death in SA with T1D is CVD; SA with T1D have higher HbA1c than white Europeans with T1D.

South Asians comprise about 20% of the global population; it appears this population generally develops type 2 diabetes (T2D) about 5-10 years earlier than white Europeans. South Asians also tend to have a higher prevalence of T2D complications at presentation, worse outcomes, and die at younger ages than white Europeans.

What about South Asians with T1D? Little is known about their outcomes compared to other ethnic/racial groups.

The short slide show above reviews results of the first systematic review of outcomes for South Asians with T1D compared with other populations.

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