Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common noncom-municable diseases in the world with an estimated 147.2 million people suffering from this disorder; by 2010 this figure is expected to reach 212.9 million. Furthermore, it has been predicted that by the year 2010 over half the people with T2D will be living in
Asia. This trend is likely to be due to increasing urbanization and industrialization. According to WHO estimates the figure is likely to double by the year 2025. The prevalence of T2D varies widely from the highest in Pima Indians (almost half of the population affected) to the lowest in Rural Africa (1%). As with T1D, the incidence of diabetes in different countries is likely to reflect the different genetic architecture as well as the differing environment. A good example is afforded by the population of Nauru. In full-blooded Nauruans over the age of 60 years the prevalence of T2D is 83%, whereas in those with genetic admixture as adduced by HLA typing the prevalence is 17%; this clearly reflects the genetic component. However, the rapid increase of T2D in the world in the last few decades, and the rise and a recent decrease in prevalence of T2D in the Nauruan community, can only be ascribed to environmental factors. This illustrates the multifactorial nature of T2D, with strong genetic and environmental contributions.
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