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Clinical and biochemical variables and prevalence of complications at diagnosis of diabetes were assessed in 5098 Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK Prospective Diabetes Study of whom 82% were white Caucasian, 10% Asian of Indian origin, and 8% Afro-Caribbean. The Asian patients were (p < 0.001) younger (mean age 52.3, 47.0, 51.0 years), less obese (BMI 29.3, 26.7, 27.9 kg m-2), had a greater waist-hip ratio, lower blood pressure (systolic 145, 139, 144, diastolic 87, 86, 89 mmHg) and prevalence of hypertension. They were more often sedentary (19, 39, 15%), more often abstained from alcohol (21, 55, 25%) and had a greater prevalence of first degree relatives with known diabetes (36, 44, 34%). The Afro-Caribbean patients had (p < 0.001) higher fasting plasma glucose (11.9, 11.3, 12.5 mmol l-1), more severely impaired beta-cell function (45, 35, 28% normal) and less impaired insulin sensitivity (23, 19, 27% normal) by homeostasis model assessment, lower triglyceride (1.8, 1.8, 1.3 mmol l-1), and higher HDL-cholesterol (1.05, 1.03, 1.17 mmol l-1). Prevalence of a history of myocardial infarction, stroke or intermittent claudication at diagnosis was similar. The prevalence of ischaemic ECG (Minnesota code), microalbuminuria (urine albumin > 50 mg l-1), retinopathy ('191' grading of retinal photographs), and neuropathy (abnormal vibration perception threshold or absent leg reflexes) was also similar. At diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes there were no differences in prevalence of complications between white Caucasian, Asian, and Afro-Caribbean patients although differences were found in other clinical and biochemical variables.


Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date





670 - 677


Adult, African Americans, Age Factors, Aged, Asia, Blacks, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Caribbean Region, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Angiopathies, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Physical Fitness, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Sex Characteristics, Social Class, United Kingdom, Whites