The global prevalence of diabetes for all age groups is estimated to be 2.8%. Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90% of diabetes worldwide. Diabetes incidence, prevalence, and disease progression varies by ethnic group. This review highlights unique aspects of the risk of developing diabetes, its overwhelming vascular complications, and their management mainly using data among South Asians and African-Caribbeans in the UK but also using non-UK data. It is concluded that although the origin of the ethnic differences in incidence need further clarification, many factors should be amenable to prevention and treatment in all ethnic groups worldwide.
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Competing interests: none declared.
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