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South Asians more vulnerable to diabetes, coronary artery disease

Washington , Sun, 31 Jul 2011 ANI

Washington, July 31 (ANI): A new study led by an Indian-origin scientist has revealed that South Asians are more likely to add dangerous organ-hugging fat that can lead to diabetes and coronary artery disease.


The team at McMaster University led by Dr. Sonia Anand found that these ethnic groups tend to add dangerous fat onto their internal organs like their liver when they gain weight, while others just add it to their waistline.


"The new study showed South Asians have less space to store fat below the skin than white Caucasians," said Dr. Anand, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at McMaster University.


"Their excess fat, therefore, overflows to ectopic compartments, in the abdomen and liver where it may affect function,"she said.


This visceral fat, she added, is associated with metabolic problems such as elevated glucose and abnormal lipids, which are risk factors that ultimately lead to coronary artery disease.


Dr. Arya Sharma, director of the Canadian Obesity Network and a co-author of the study added: "This study helps explain why South Asians experience weight-related health problems at lower BMI levels than Caucasians."


"For the clinician, this also means that individuals of South Asian heritage need to be screened for the presence of heart disease and diabetes at lower BMIs," he concluded.


The study was published in the medical journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)


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