Epidemiology of microvascular complications of diabetes in South Asians and comparison with other ethnicities

J Diabetes. 2016 Jul;8(4):470-82. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12378. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is widely prevalent in South Asians, and has a significant effect on health, as well as the economies of South Asian countries, particularly when the disease is associated with complications. There are certain characteristics associated with the South Asian phenotype that make South Asians especially prone to diabetes, as well as its complications. Microvascular complications cause considerable morbidity and mortality. There are significant differences in the epidemiology of microvascular complications between South Asians and people of other races. There is evidence of higher prevalence of nephropathy and retinopathy in South Asians compared with Caucasians; however, recent studies indicate that this trend seems to be leveling off. Importantly, diabetic neuropathy occurs less frequently in South Asians compared with Caucasians. These observations have important implications in managing South Asian patients with diabetes and microvascular complications.

Keywords: Asian Indians; South Asians; complications; diabetes; microvascular; 亚洲印度人; 南亚人; 并发症; 微血管; 糖尿病.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / ethnology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / ethnology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Prevalence