Study: Many Mexican-American children headed for diabetes

Sept. 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM
| License Photo

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Data on Mexican-American children indicates many are on the fast track for diabetes and other health problems, U.S. researchers say.

Ravindranath Duggirala, a scientist at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, and colleagues examined 670 children ages 6-17, from predominantly lower-income extended Mexican-American families, many of whose adult members have increased risk of diabetes.

They found a striking proportion had metabolic syndrome -- warning signs of diabetes, such as belly fat, high levels of blood sugar, elevated blood pressure and high insulin levels.

"Experiencing metabolic syndrome and related risk factors this early in life significantly increases risk of developing hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic health problems years earlier than might otherwise have been expected," Duggirala said in a statement.

An estimated 2.5 million U.S. adolescents have metabolic syndrome, with minority groups such as Mexican-Americans being particularly vulnerable.

The study, published in the journal Human Genetics, found nearly 53 percent of the Mexican-American children were overweight or obese, and 13 percent had pre-diabetes. Overall, 19 percent, or almost 1-in-5, of the young people exhibited metabolic syndrome, the study found.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'