Asian Populations More Prone to Diabetes

A number of recent studies have highlighted a growing trend in statistics regarding new cases of diabetes worldwide. Research presented as part of Diabetes Awareness Month, occurring annually in November, suggest that Asian populations—particularly South Asian and East Asian communities—seem to be more likely to contract diabetes than Caucasian populations. This trend, coming to light after decades of study of the disease, is particularly important in light of the fact that, while the diabetes epidemic rages around the world, more and more patients will be vying for diabetic accessories, such as breeze 2 test strips, insulin pump supplies, lancets, and insulin pen needles. The increased demand for these products and others may result in problems of supply. Other issues also include the fact that diabetes can cause severe complications and side effects when it is not well-managed, and in populations where needed medicines and other supplies for diabetes are not easily purchased, many people may die.

A recent study in Canada found out that citizens of South and East Asian descent within that country are up to five times more likely to contract the chronic illness than their Caucasian counterparts; this is even in cases where the South and East Asian participants were slimmer. The finding echoes similar research conducted in a number of countries, along with alarming studies illustrating the growth of the disease in countries like India and China. There are some theories but no hard proof as to why this would be the case. One of the popular theories is that Asian populations, historically partaking of a diet with much fewer fried and fatty products and a much larger proportion of vegetables and steamed foods, have a lower genetic resistance to diabetes. This seems to be borne out by a few factors, but the correlation is not exact. Canadian researchers are asking for more individuals to participate in a broader medical study to see if they can probe into the genetics and other factors that may influence the development of diabetes. The goal ultimately would be to understand better how the disease begins in the body.

Another study has shown an alarming rise in the rates of diabetes in China, which has, as of 2013, beat out the United States in terms of the number and proportion of the population that is living with the disease. As diabetes rates increase in China, larger numbers of people are beginning to need to purchase diabetic supplies such as insulin pen needles, breeze 2 test strips, insulin pump supplies, lancets and other items. Diabetic supply companies are keeping up with the demand at the moment—and certainly many are pleased with the ability to expand their businesses—but the rates of growth in China  and many other countries mean that it is vital to discover what the link is among these new cases. In the case of China, many researchers theorize that the growth in diabetes cases is in part due to the fact that, since parents in the country are only allowed one child, the young people coming of age in the last several decades through today have been more “spoiled” by parental attentions in the form of treats and junk food than they would have been in the past. That, combined with theories regarding genetic tendencies of the metabolism, may shed some light on what causes the disease overall. The silver lining to this ominous threat is that by understanding the mechanism of the disease in populations that are more sensitive to it—since it appears to be the case in Asian populations that they are—researchers may be able to discover better treatments or even cures for individuals in other groups as well.

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