Understanding the pathogenesis of lean non-autoimmune diabetes in an African population with newly diagnosed diabetes
Jones, A. G.
Hattersley, A. T.
Nyirenda, M. J.
Rights© 2022. The Author(s).
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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Apparent type 2 diabetes is increasingly reported in lean adult individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. However, studies undertaking robust clinical and metabolic characterisation of lean individuals with new-onset type 2 diabetes are limited in this population. This cross-sectional study aimed to perform a detailed clinical and metabolic characterisation of newly diagnosed adult patients with diabetes in Uganda, in order to compare features between lean and non-lean individuals. METHODS: Socio-demographic, clinical, biophysical and metabolic (including oral glucose tolerance test) data were collected on 568 adult patients with newly diagnosed diabetes. Participants were screened for islet autoantibodies to exclude those with autoimmune diabetes. The remaining participants (with type 2 diabetes) were then classified as lean (BMI <25 kg/m(2)) or non-lean (BMI ≥25 kg/m(2)), and their socio-demographic, clinical, biophysical and metabolic characteristics were compared. RESULTS: Thirty-four participants (6.4%) were excluded from analyses because they were positive for pancreatic autoantibodies, and a further 34 participants because they had incomplete data. For the remaining 500 participants, the median (IQR) age, BMI and HbA(1c) were 48 years (39-58), 27.5 kg/m(2) (23.6-31.4) and 90 mmol/mol (61-113) (10.3% [7.7-12.5]), respectively, with a female predominance (approximately 57%). Of the 500 participants, 160 (32%) and 340 (68%) were lean and non-lean, respectively. Compared with non-lean participants, lean participants were mainly male (60.6% vs 35.3%, p<0.001) and had lower visceral adiposity level (5 [4-7] vs 11 [9-13], p<0.001) and features of the metabolic syndrome (uric acid, 246.5 [205.0-290.6] vs 289 [234-347] μmol/l, p<0.001; leptin, 660.9 [174.5-1993.1] vs 3988.0 [1336.0-6595.0] pg/ml, p<0.001). In addition, they displayed markedly reduced markers of beta cell function (oral insulinogenic index 0.8 [0.3-2.5] vs 1.6 [0.6-4.6] pmol/mmol; 120 min serum C-peptide 0.70 [0.33-1.36] vs 1.02 [0.60-1.66] nmol/l, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Approximately one-third of participants with incident adult-onset non-autoimmune diabetes had BMI <25 kg/m(2). Diabetes in these lean individuals was more common in men, and predominantly associated with reduced pancreatic secretory function rather than insulin resistance. The underlying pathological mechanisms are unclear, but this is likely to have important management implications.
CitationDiabetologia. 2022 Apr;65(4):675-683. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05644-8. Epub 2022 Feb 9.
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