New tools developed for diabetes diagnosis for Asian Americans

Wed, 07 Dec 2011
Scientists in the United States have found key differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the Asian American population in that country, and have pinpointed reasons behind diabetes misdiagnosis at a time when the rate of the condition is rising for that population group.

The research, carried out at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and published in PLoS ONE, developed reliable diagnostic tools for differentiating between the two types of diabetes, as they can be clinically similar in young Asian Americans, which could make the diagnosis of diabetes much faster, as well as finding critical physical differences in diabetic Asian patients that should be considered when making treatment recommendations.

The study involved 30 Asian Americans diabetics and non-diabetics who were of a healthy weight, revealing that insulin resistance was consistently higher in the participants that had type 2 diabetes, despite them having a normal body mass index (BMI). It was also revealed that when blood sugar levels are being managed properly by Asian Americans with type 1 diabetes, they are not necessarily insulin resistant.

William Hsu, lead author on the study, commented "If patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes all look very similar in phenotype, namely they're generally non-obese and with less evidence for autoimmunity, then we need to know whether the classic understanding of the physiology in type 1 and type 2 diabetes actually apply to this population."
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