Diabetes in Ethnic Groups

Diabetes type 1 or type 2 is something that can develop in people of all ages, but it is important to remember that there are specific ethnic groups which could end up being at greater risk.

Over recent years, numerous reports have been conducted on this particular subject and it seems that there is definitely a solid link between individuals of ethnic groups and the development of different forms of diabetes.  

Of course, if you are part of a “higher risk” ethnic group, it is doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to develop the condition, although it is best to be aware of the possibility.

The risk groups include the following:

  • African
  • Africa-Caribbean
  • South Asian
  • Hispanics

Fact: The above list details a few ethnic groups that are at risk from diabetes and this is something that can be increased further for anyone in these categories that are over the age of 25.

Even though there are plenty experts who regularly emphasise the risk of diabetes in specific ethnic groups, there are numerous other factors that can lead to the developing of type 1 or type 2 diabetes which consist of the following:  

·  Poor diet

·  A lack of exercise – this can soon be rectified by doing a short amount of activity on a daily basis if possible

·  Smoking

·  High blood pressure (if this remains high for a prolonged period of time then this is going to lead to more serious complications surfacing)

·  High levels of “bad” cholesterol

Gestational Diabetes in Ethnic Groups

People who are part of a specific ethnic group will find that it is not just type 1 or 2 diabetes that can develop, experts and ongoing studies have discovered that African women are much more likely to suffer from gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

This is a particular type of diabetes that does not just tend to affect certain ethnic groups; anyone can develop gestational diabetes, usually in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  

Tip: Gestational diabetes has caused confusion for experts in the past because not everyone knows why it occurs. For anyone who develops this condition during pregnancy, cases are reported by those who have never had diabetes before and it tends to clear up as soon as a baby has been born. The only thing you will need to be aware of is that if you develop this condition then you are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in future.

Reducing the risks of Diabetes in Ethnic
Groups

As type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in people of certain backgrounds, it is vital that you are aware of ways to help reduce the risk of diabetes developing, or if you already have the condition then there are methods which will help you keep it under control.

Of course, there are specific risk factors that mean some individuals are more likely to develop diabetes but if you look at other ways of reducing the possibility then this is going to give you a good chance of steering clear of such a condition.

Your doctor will be able to provide more advice but these are a few of the precautions that should be taken, just to be on the
safe side:

  • Improve your diet and exclude items that are full of unnecessary calories
  • If you suffer from a high blood pressure then this should definitely be lowered as soon as possible
  • Limit items that have high levels of fat and sugar. A small amount of each should not pose a problem but you don’t want to go overboard
  • Quit smoking as this can have serious effects on anyone who suffers from diabetes
  • Some experts recommend that you keep alcohol intake to a minimum
  • Exercise regularly. Experts suggest that a minimum of 30 minutes per day should suffice and this could include activities like swimming, walking or jogging

A closer look at Diabetes and ethnic groups

This is a matter that has been well studied over recent years and experts have established a number of interesting facts involving diabetes in specific ethnic groups. Not everyone is entirely certain why certain people are more at risk than others, but then again this fact has often been attributed to different foods that are consumed.

Below are some points to consider:

·  Some expert reports have indicated that individuals of African – American origin are two times more likely to develop diabetes, compared with Caucasians

·  No exact figure has been given but people of Asian origin are another group that are more likely to develop diabetes at some stage, compared with Caucasians

There are some experts who have suggested that there is no real link between diabetes and different ethnic groups, but then again there are numerous individuals who also support this theory.

Diabetes and ethnic groups in the UK

One popular source focussed on diabetes within the UK after surveys were conducted in 1999 and again in 2004. There were a number of different findings as a result which included the following:

  • During this time, diabetes was more likely to occur in men, rather than women
  • There was a more distinct pattern of diabetes in individuals from parts of the world such as Pakistan and India
  • Going back to the above point, figures gathered from the surveys indicated that people from India and Pakistan were 5 times more likely to develop diabetes

Overall, it doesn’t matter what your background is, or how old / young you are, it is important to safeguard yourself as much as possible and diabetes is something that definitely should not be ignored.

The risk of further complications can be great and equally serious and therefore you should take all advice seriously and if it is required work at making some important lifestyle changes, whether it involves quitting smoking or eating more fruit and vegetables so that you get a balanced diet. 

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