Populations in economic transition have a high diabetes prevalence even at lower body mass indices (BMI). We compared diabetes incidence in South Asians ≥45 years in urban India (Delhi and Chennai) and Pakistan (Karachi) with blacks and whites in U.S. Prospective analyses were done using data from the Center for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia Study (CARRS, South Asians, n=3,136), and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC, blacks, n=3,059; whites, n=9,924). We defined diabetes as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dl, HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, or medication use. South Asians were less obese than blacks and whites (BMI, kg/m2: 24.9 vs. 28.2 vs. 26.0; Waist, cms 87.5 vs.97.5 vs. 95.2). Age-standardized diabetes incidence (cases/1000 person-years, 95% CI) in South Asian men was similar to blacks and 1.6 times than whites (26.0, 22.2-29.8 vs. 26.2, 22.7-29.7 vs. 16.1, 14.8-17.4); and in South Asian women slightly higher than blacks and 3 times than whites (31.9, 27.5-36.2 vs. 28.6, 25.7-31.6 vs. 11.3, 10.2-12.3). In those with BMI <25 kg/m2, the diabetes risk was 2.6 times higher in South Asian men, and 5.3 times in women than in whites. In those with BMI ≥30 kg/m2, diabetes incidence in South Asian men and women were 2.6 and 2.1 times higher than in whites.

Adults in urban India/Pakistan have higher diabetes incidence than U.S. whites. Even nonobese South Asian adults have markedly higher risk of diabetes compared to whites.


K. Narayan: None. D. Kondal: None. N.R. Daya: None. S.A. Patel: None. M. Deepa: None. R. Anjana: None. L.R. Staimez: None. U. Gujral: None. S. Kobes: None. R. Shivashankar: None. M.K. Ali: None. M. Kadir: None. D. Prabhakaran: None. R.L. Hanson: None. V. Mohan: None. E. Selvin: None. N. Tandon: None.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Department of Health and Human Services (HHSN268200900026C); United Health Group, Minneapolis, MN; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (P30DK111024)

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