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Type 2 Diabetes and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians: a Unique Population with a Growing Challenge


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize our current knowledge of factors that influence clinical decision making and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) among South Asians (SA).

Recent Findings

ASCVD and T2DM in SAs have been examined in recent times. Pathophysiologic and genetic factors including the role of adiponectin, visceral adiposity, lower beta cell function, and psycho-social factors like sedentary lifestyle, poor adherence to medications, and carbohydrate dense meals play a role in early development and the high-risk presentation of both ASCVD and T2DM in SA. Recently, large population-based cohort studies have attempted to compare outcomes and interventions that can be translated to timely detection and targeted interventions in this high-risk group.


SAs in the USA are more likely to be diagnosed with T2DM and ASCVD when compared to non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanic populations. The development of personalized ethnic risk assessment tools and better representation of SAs in prospective studies are essential to increasing our understanding and management of cardio-metabolic disease in SA living in the USA.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Correspondence to Afreen I. Shariff.

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William S. Yancy Jr. is a consultant for Dietdoctor.com and Guideline central.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Macrovascular Complications in Diabetes

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Shariff, A.I., Kumar, N., Yancy, W.S. et al. Type 2 Diabetes and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians: a Unique Population with a Growing Challenge. Curr Diab Rep 20, 4 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-020-1291-6

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  • Diabetes mellitus
  • South Asian
  • Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
  • Asian Indian