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December 28, 1984

Medicine at a Glance

JAMA. 1984;252(24):3349. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350240007003

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The second phase is under way (until 1988) in what originally was described (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1980;244:225) as the nation's first in-depth project to compare diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure incidence in two ethnic groups—Mexican Americans and Anglo Americans—in San Antonio, Tex. This phase of the study is evaluating frequency and severity of diabetic complications, attempting to learn whether upper body fat deposits are related to diabetes, and investigating possible genetic factors.

In the earlier phase, the 33 investigators (headed by Michael P. Stern, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio) found that diabetes is three to five times more prevalent in Mexican Americans. Stern hypothesizes that genetics plays a role. However, he adds, as Mexican Americans move to a more Anglo culture, incidence of diabetes declines, but cholesterol levels begin to climb, indicating the involvement of dietary factors as well.

The study is supported by