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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Self-Reported Diabetes and Mortality in a Prospective Chinese Elderly Study by CUNY

Dr. Mary Schooling, researcher and associate professor, City University of New York School of Public Health, highlights differences in the consequences of diabetes by setting among some minorities in the United States, such as Chinese. Diabetes is common despite a relatively non-obese population, for reasons which are unclear, but imply other potentially modifiable causes of diabetes than obesity. To shed light on these potential causes, she examined the consequences of diabetes among Chinese. As elsewhere diabetes was associated with death from cardiovascular disease, however rather than being associated with the cancers caused by obesity diabetes was associated with infection-related cancers, such as stomach cancer. Little evidence suggests that infections directly cause diabetes; instead these findings suggest that factors, such as limited early life conditions, might underlie infection-related cancers and diabetes. Limited early living conditions reducing the acquisition of muscle mass, which is a sink for glucose disposal, would increase vulnerability to diabetes and could be relevant to diabetes in several minority communities in the United States.