Asian Indians form the largest sub-group of South Asians. By the year 2045 an estimated 151 million South Asians will have diabetes. Migrant South Asians have an increased risk of early onset type 2 diabetes often with lean BMI compared with white Europeans. Partitioned polygenic risk scores for type 2 diabetes risk are tools to understand patterns of disease predisposition and aetiology
We tested the hypothesis that lower clinically and genetically determined beta cell function is associated with early onset diabetes in Asian Indians
Using ethnicity-appropriate BMI cut-offs, we find non-migrant Asian Indians have 2-4 times the prevalence of young onset diabetes (< 40 years) compared with white Europeans. Young, lean Asian Indians have markedly lower beta cell function determined using c-peptides and HOMA-B compared to those with older onset diabetes. Partitioned polygenic scores for type 2 diabetes risk due to poor beta cell function showed Asian Indians have a greater genetic risk of poor beta cell function. The additional burden of poor beta-cell function and its role in diabetes onset should inform therapies and diabetes care for patients of Asian Indian and more broadly South Asian descent. Please see full article.