September 10, 2012
Reduce diabetes risk with healthier lifestyle
A new study we part-funded has shown that South
Asian or African Caribbean women can reduce their risk of
developing diabetes by keeping the weight off.
Researchers from Imperial
College London have been following a group of people from
South East England for several years in a project called the SABRE
study. The study is looking for clues about why some people
are more likely to develop health problems.
In particular, the research
team is aiming to work out why people from South Asian
or African Caribbean backgrounds are more likely to
develop diabetes. We know that people
from these groups are at greater risk of diabetes, and therefore
more likely to go on to develop heart
The researchers found that in South
Asian and Afrcian Caribbean women, the increased
diabetes risk is down to higher body fat levels,
in particular around the waist, and
resistance to insulin. In men, the picture is more complicated, but
lifestyle is an important factor.
Eating well and getting active can have a significant protective effect on your health
Our Research Advisor, Dr
Hélène Wilson, said: “This study suggests the higher rate of
diabetes – a major risk factor for heart
– in some South
Asian and African Caribbean women is due to increased levels of
, particularly the build-up of
fat around the waist, and higher resistance to
, which helps the body process sugar.
“This is a very encouraging
discovery because it underlines the fact that controlling
your weight by eating well and getting active can have a
significant protective effect on your health. There's a wealth of
existing evidence that keeping the weight off by eating a healthy balanced diet and being physically active will reduce your risk of heart
disease and type 2 diabetes, whatever your ethnic group."
The findings - the first to be
announced by the SABRE team - were published in journal
Diabetes Care. In the coming months the team will announce