Background: Our objective was to test the association between familial risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in adult Asian Indians. Materials and Methods: A total of 448 adult (>30 years) individuals (257 males and 191 females) participated in the study. Familial risk of T2DM was classified into three groups viz., 1=both parents affected; 2=parent and/or siblings affected and 3=none or no family history for T2DM. Anthropometric measures, blood pressures, fasting blood glucose and metabolic profiles were studied using standard techniques. MS was defined accordingly. The prevalence of MS phenotypes was estimated and compared among the three familial risk strata. Results: Individuals with a history of both parents affected from diabetes had significantly higher (P<0.001) body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-hip ratio (WHR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and fasting blood glucose (FBG; P=0.035) than individuals having no family history of T2DM. Significant difference was also noticed between individuals with and without MS according to the family history of diabetes (P<0.001). Differences were evident between individuals who fulfilled all the MS criteria (P=0.001) and individuals with only one or two criteria (phenotypes) according to family history of T2DM. Conclusion: Family history of T2DM had significant effect on individuals with MS as compared to their counterparts (individuals having no family history of T2DM). It therefore seems reasonable to argue that family history of T2DM could be useful as a predictive tool for early diagnosis and prevention of MS in Asian Indian population.
Key words:Asian Indians, family history, metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes.