Objective To determine whether ethnic differences exist in glycated haemoglobin between white subjects and those of South Asian origin with normal glucose tolerance (NGT)
Methods Erythrocyte glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was compared between white subjects and those of South Asian origin with NGT defined by a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Results 139 subjects with NGT comprising 36 people of South Asian origin (20 female) and 103 white subjects (49 female) were compared. Subjects of South Asian origin were younger (p<0.001) and weighed less (p<0.001) than white subjects. Fasting and 2 h capillary plasma glucose concentrations were similar in subjects of South Asian origin and white subjects, but HbA1c levels were higher (p<0.05) in subjects of South Asian origin (6.11±0.58%) compared with levels in white subjects (5.90±0.40%).
Conclusion In subjects with similar fasting and postprandial glycaemia on OGTT, those of South Asian origin have higher HbA1c levels than white subjects. It is speculated that the higher glycaemia-independent HBA1c levels in people of South Asian origin could possibly contribute to their increase cardiovascular risk.
- ethnic differences
- normal glucose tolerance
- oral glucose tolerance test
- South Asian
- white subjects
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.