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Differences in body composition and cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk factors between migrant and British-born British Pakistani women

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nigel Unwin, Dr Colin Fischbacher, Jazz Chamley


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There is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes in people of South Asian origin living in affluent western countries. We do not know whether or how risk factors for these diseases change in subsequent generations born in the west. Findings that birth-weight is inversely associated with abdominal obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes in later life suggest that those born in the west may have lower levels of risk than migrants. We assessed 30 migrants from Pakistan to the UK, 30 British-born British Pakistani women, and 25 British-born women of European origin. British-born British Pakistani women were taller (P = 0.05), had a lower waist to hip ratio (P = 0.04), lower mean fasting glucose levels (P = 0.03), lower mean triglyceride levels (P = 0.03), and higher mean HDL levels (P < 0.001) than migrant British Pakistani women. Levels of fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, and blood pressure were not significantly different in the two British Pakistani groups. Thus, we found healthier levels of several cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes risk factors in British-born British Pakistani women than in migrant British Pakistani women. These findings might be related to the effects of early environment or to other factors, such as differences in health behaviors. British-born British Pakistani women also differed from British-born European women, having a more adverse body composition, but healthier levels of HDL cholesterol and blood pressure. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pollard TM, Unwin N, Fischbacher C, Chamley JK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Human Biology

Year: 2008

Volume: 20

Issue: 5

Pages: 545-549

ISSN (print): 1042-0533

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6300

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc


DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.20773


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