Changes in characteristics and management of Asian and Anglo-Celts with type 2 diabetes over a 15-year period in an urban Australian community: The Fremantle Diabetes Study

J Diabetes. 2016 Jan;8(1):139-47. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12267. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


Background: The aim of the present study was to determine temporal changes in characteristics and management of Asians with type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared with those of the majority Anglo-Celt (AC) patients in an urban Australian community.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from the observational Fremantle Diabetes Study (FDS) collected in 1993-96 (Phase I; FDS1) and 2008-11 (Phase II; FDS2) were analyzed for patients classified as Asian (n = 44 and 65 in FDS1 and FDS2, respectively) or AC (n = 796 and 793, respectively). Between-group differences in changes in key variables between FDS phases were analyzed by generalized linear modeling with adjustment for age and gender.

Results: Asians patients were significantly younger at diagnosis and recruitment and had a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference than the AC participants in both FDS phases. They were also less likely to be treated for hypertension. Cardiovascular risk factors and their management and macrovascular complications were similar in the two groups over time. A greater propensity to retinopathy with Asian ethnicity in FDS1 (27.3% vs 13.5%; P = 0.23) was attenuated in FDS2 (23.7% vs 19.0%; P = 0.39). Asians had a significantly lower prevalence of peripheral sensory neuropathy in FDS2 (33.8% vs 63.3%; P < 0.001; adjusted P = 0.011 for between-group temporal change).

Conclusions: There were persistent differences between the phenotypic features of Asian migrants with T2D versus AC patients in an Australian urban community over 15 years of follow-up, but management of diabetes and non-glycemic risk factors remained comparable. Ethnicity-specific differences in susceptibility to microvascular complications should be considered in clinical management.

Keywords: 2型糖尿病; Anglo-Celt ethnicity; Asian ethnicity; cardiovascular risk factors; type 2 diabetes; vascular complications; 亚裔; 心血管危险因素; 盎格鲁-凯尔特裔; 血管并发症.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / prevention & control*
  • Disease Management
  • Ethnic Groups
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Population