Objectives: Diabetes risk for Asians is related to a greater tendency to adiposity, which increases insulin resistance. Various studies have highlighted the fact that people from South Asia have a younger age of onset of diabetes, greater upper-body adiposity and lower body mass index (BMI) and higher risk compared to those from other nations. Greece has experienced a large wave of immigration from Asian countries, especially Bangladesh. The purpose of this study was to explore the ethnic differences and special needs that must be taken into account when treating patients with different cultural background.
Methods: A total of 166 randomly selected immigrants with diabetes from Bangladesh were compared with 123 randomly selected Greek Caucasian patients with diabetes.
Results: Patients from Bangladesh had a mean duration of living in Greece of 10.34±6.2 years. The Bangladeshi group was younger compared with the Greek group (44.05±8.1 vs 48.75±9.2 years old, P=0.009) and had an earlier age at onset of diabetes (39.3±7.3 vs 41.7±10.1 years old, P=0.025). The reported duration of diabetes was lower in the Bangladeshi group (4.86±4.5 vs 7.34±6.21 years, P<0.05). The Bangladeshi group had a significantly lower BMI (24.19±3.3 vs 29.04±8.7 kg/m2, P=0.01), and waist circumference (92.2±8.9 vs 103.1±15.7 cm, P<0.001). Bangladeshi group had a slightly worse, but not statistical significant, glycemic control as compared with the Greek group (A1C=7.74±1.6% vs 7.55±1.7%, P=0.3). A significant number of Bangladeshis stated that they rarely checked their self-monitoring blood glucose as compared with the Greek group (1.26±2.6 vs 8.87±9.9 times per week, P<0.01). There were also no significant differences between the two groups for most laboratory findings, although Bangladeshis had higher mean levels of glucose (190.3±72 vs 160.8±81 mg/dl, P=0.4), cholesterol (199.8±44.4 vs 178.86±44.9 mg/dl, P=0.9), LDL (129.3±33.2 vs 110.62±33.9 mg/dl, P=0.8) and triglycerides (231.4±213 vs 181.95±166 mg/dl, P=0.07). In the Bangladeshi group, the mean HDL level was significantly lower as compared with the Greek group (33.99±9.4 vs 44.05±10.43 mg/dl, P=0.037).
Conclusions: Bangladeshi immigrants are less likely to engage self-care behaviors and have worse glycemic control and less access to medication, laboratory test and healthcare units.
20 - 23 May 2017
European Society of Endocrinology