Increased obesity and diabetes risk in Indians down to genes

Tue, 06 May 2008
According to reports in the diabetes news, high rates of obesity and diabetes in Indian communities are down to a genetic heritage. A team of scientists investigated why Indian people are more prone to weight problems, and found that a gene sequence could be linked to larger waist line, weight gain and type 2 diabetes .

A team from Imperial College London found that 50% of the population carry the gene, but amongst Indian Asians it is some 30% more common. This discovery could help doctors to identify those people who could gain health benefits from losing weight early.

Indian Asians suffer from a high level of obesity . The gene discovered is closely related to MC4R, a gene that regulates energy levels through eating and energy use habits. The lead researcher of the study, Jaspal Kooner, reportedly commented: "A better understanding of the genes behind problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease means that we will be in a good position to identify people whose genetic inheritance makes them most susceptible. We can't change their genetic inheritance. But we can focus on preventative measures, including life-style factors such as diet and exercise, and identifying new drug targets to help reduce the burden of disease."
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