WEIHT, BLOOD pressure and blood fat elevations are greater in young people who develop type 2 diabetes, according to UK researchers, reports www.nursingtimes.net.
However, they also found differences in how these factors affected diabetes risk according to gender and racial background.
The study, led by researchers from the universities of Glasgow and Manchester, examined known risk factors for heart disease between people with and without type 2 diabetes at similar ages.
“Our study also further illustrates how in people of South Asian background and African-Caribbean or Black African background are more sensitive to the adverse metabolic effects of weight gain than white people.”
Co-lead author Professor Martin Rutter of the University of Manchester, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
The researchers compared the weight and blood pressure at diagnosis of 187,601 people with type 2 diabetes diagnosed in England with age-matched people without diabetes, by sex and ethnic group.
Their findings confirm that younger people diagnosed with diabetes have a greater difference in weight relative to people without the condition, noted the authors in the journal Diabetologia.
However, they highlighted that the difference in weight between those with and without type 2 diabetes was most marked for white people, especially women.
The same was also true for blood pressure, with young, white people having a higher difference in pressure at diabetes diagnosis when measured against those without the condition.
The study confirmed the same patterns were seen in people of South Asian background and African-Caribbean or Black African background, noted the researchers.
But these groups tended to develop type 2 diabetes at much lower body mass indexes, with less difference in weight between those who did and did not.
Similar, though less marked, patterns by age were seen for blood fat levels, said the authors of the study, which was funded by the charity Diabetes UK.
Previous evidence has shown that there is a greater loss of life from type 2 diabetes in white people, said the researchers, who suggested that their findings may help to explain why.
Overall the researchers found that the difference in weight for individuals with and without type 2 diabetes was 20kg, between the ages of 20 and 39 years old. While for those diagnosed over 80 years old, the weight difference was only 5kg.
Similarly, the difference in blood pressure was highest in the younger age bracket for those who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There was no difference in blood pressure for those with or without type 2 diabetes at over 80 years old.
People who developed diabetes at a younger age had more complications over their lifetime, and died younger than people who developed the condition much later in life.
Lead study author Professor Naveed Sattar, of the University of Glasgow, said: “Our findings could help explain why younger diabetes onset is more damaging, and offer important insights into different groups for the development of type 2 diabetes.
“They also suggest a need for greater healthcare emphasis on diabetes and heart disease management in young people developing diabetes, regardless of their sex or ethnicity.”
Co-lead author Professor Martin Rutter of the University of Manchester, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our work also helps to understand why there may be a greater loss of life from type 2 diabetes in white people.
“We noted that risk factor differences between those with and without diabetes, across nearly all ages, were less in people of South Asian background and African-Caribbean or Black African background.
“Our study also further illustrates how in people of South Asian background and African-Caribbean or Black African background are more sensitive to the adverse metabolic effects of weight gain than white people,” he added.
“These findings may hold some relevance to the current Covid-19 findings where people with diabetes, and of specific ethnicities, are at greater risk for severe outcomes.”