Prevalence of type 2 diabetes has rapidly increased in native and migrant Asian populations. Diabetes develops at a younger age in Asian populations than in white populations, hence the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease and its complications are also common in young Asian people. The young age of these populations and the high rates of cardiovascular risk factors seen in Asian people substantially increase lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. Several distinctive features are apparent in pathogenetic factors for diabetes and their thresholds in Asian populations. The economic burden due to diabetes at personal, societal, and national levels is huge. National strategies to raise public awareness about the disease and to improve standard of care and implementation of programmes for primary prevention are urgently needed.
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