Washington D.C: A new research has suggested that the risks of developing type 2 diabetes for South Asians, a group long known to suffer from substantially higher rates of both diabetes and heart disease, begins immediately at birth.
The research from the South Asian Birth Cohort study (START) is significant because it suggests South Asian women who minimize their risk of gestational diabetes and avoid excessive weight gain in pregnancy may help to prevent diabetes in their own children.
South Asian pregnant women should be considered high risk for gestational diabetes and routinely screened in pregnancy, says Sonia Anand, principal investigator from McMaster University.
Prevention may be an important way to break the transmission among generations, she says.
The increase they observed in fat tissue is clearly influenced by South Asian ethnicity, the mother's body fat and high blood sugar levels, explained Anand.
In addition, the research re-emphasizes the importance of diabetes prevention efforts in South Asians from very early childhood onwards, in order to reduce the eventual burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in South Asian adults, says study investigator Milan Gupta.