Well Being

PPAR-Gamma Gene And Type 2 Diabetes In Asian Indians

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India has the highest number of type 2 diabetic individuals of any country world-wide. With more than 40 million people affected by type 2 diabetes, 12-16 per cent of India’s urban population is believed to be diabetic. Chennai-based diabetologist V Mohan and colleagues in India have determined that the gene for PPAR-Gamma is not functional in Indians.

Mohan said

PPAR-Gamma gene is known to protect the body from diabetes. But in Indians, it is not functioning. We have also found that Indians have an increased genetic susceptibility to diabetes and greater degree of insulin resistance compared to Europeans. They also have greater fat deposits in the intra-abdominal area which contributes to the risk of diabetes.

Mohan has also helped to develop the Indian Diabetes Risk Score (IRDS) that is assessed by:

  • Age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Regular exercise
  • Physically demanding work
  • Waist circumference

An IRDS of 60 and above will identify over 70 per cent of undiagnosed diabetic subjects in India.

Both genetic and lifestyle factors determine a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As developing countries grow wealthier and people become more sedentary but indulge in high fat, high calorie foods, the incidence of type 2 diabetes will increase exponentially in both children and adults.

The Times of India, September 22, 2005