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Sub-Saharan African populations in Europe and in Africa are facing an emergence of type 2 diabetes. While demographic changes and urbanization are partially responsible for this development in sub-Saharan Africa, economic transition and lifestyle changes contribute fundamentally. In addition, genetic susceptibility towards type 2 diabetes among individuals of African origin appears to be stronger than among white populations. Not at least, the interactions of environmental and behavioural factors with genetic disposition among African populations, including epigenetic mechanisms of early-life development, seem to be involved.
Given the enormous health and economic burden of type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan African populations, DIfE organizes this symposium to discuss recent advances in the understanding of type 2 diabetes among African populations under transition.