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South Asians who gain excess weight may be more likely than individuals from other ethnic backgrounds to receive an HbA1c test indicating they have type 2 diabetes. A new study from researchers at McMaster University has found that small changes in weight can have big implications for these individuals.
The reason why, the researchers said, is because their bodies store extra fat differently. Rather than distributing it throughout the body under the skin, as is the case with people from most ethnic groups, the bodies of individuals of South Asian descent store the fat around the internal organs of the abdomen. This is known as visceral fat.
People with high levels of this fat have been shown to be more likely to develop diabetes and other obesity-related conditions, like heart disease.
The researchers said the findings show that doctors should pay extra attention to weight gain by their South Asian patients. While a few extra pounds may not seem like a big deal for most people, among this ethnic group it can have a major impact on their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other conditions.
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