New Findings About Mexican Americans and Type 2

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By: Miranda Schwartz

Results of a study by Naomi D. Neufeld, MD, et al. describe the signals that the beginning of type 2 diabetes is present in some Hispanic populations. As reported in January’s Diabetes Care, there is a genetic predisposition, that when combined with obesity, can result in type 2 diabetes in Mexican-American children.

After assessing over 20 children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes, the definition of childhood type 2 diabetes was established.

This definition was based on six criteria: at diagnosis all patients were significantly obese; the majority of patients had positive family histories of diabetes; most did not have ketosis at presentation; their diabetes was easily controlled with diet, oral agents or low doses of insulin; C-peptide levels suggested normal to exaggerated insulin secretion; and none of the patients demonstrated autoimmunity against pancreatic islet or thyroid tissue.

This knowledge, researchers conclude, could possibly help prevent or delay cases of type 2 diabetes in overweight, genetically-predisposed Mexican-American children. Many health complications related to diabetes or possibly even early death could be averted.

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