Clinical profile of lean NIDDM in South India

V. Mohan, R. Vijayaprabha, M. Rema, G. Premalatha, S. Poongothai, R. Deepa, E. Bhatia, I. R. Mackay, P. Zimmet

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The majority (>80%) of patients with non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) present in Europe and America are obese. In developing countries like India, most NIDDM (>60%) are non-obese and many are actually lean with a body mass index (BMI) of <18.5 and are referred to as 'lean NIDDM'. This paper compares the clinical profile of a cohort of 347 lean NIDDM, with a group of 6274 NIDDM of ideal body weight (IBW) and 3252 obese NIDDM attending a diabetes centre at Madras in South India. The lean NIDDM who constituted 3.5% of all NIDDM patients seen at our centre, had more severe diabetes and an increased prevalence of retinopathy (both background and proliferative), nephropathy and neuropathy. Although a larger percentage of the lean NIDDM patients were treated with insulin, 47% of the males and 53% of the females were still on oral hypoglycaemic agents even after a mean duration of diabetes of 9.2 ± 8.1 years. Studies of GAD antibodies, islet cell antibodies (ICA) and fasting and stimulated C-peptide estimations done in a small subgroup of the lean NIDDM showed that they were distinct from IDDM patients. More studies are needed on metabolic, hormonal and immunological profile of lean NIDDM seen in developing countries like India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • C-peptide
  • Complications
  • Gad- antibodies
  • Islet cell antibodies
  • Lean NIDDM
  • Nephropathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Non- obese
  • Retinopathy
  • South India

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