OBJECTIVETwins in Africa may be at increased risk of metabolic disorders due to strained conditions in utero, including high exposure to infections. We studied metabolic syndrome (MS) and diabetes mellitus (DM) among young twins and singletons in Guinea-Bissau.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSThe study was cross-sectional and occurred from October 2009 until August 2011 at the Bandim Health Project, a demographic surveillance site in the capital Bissau. Twins and singleton controls between 5 and 32 years were visited at home. Fasting blood samples for metabolic measurements were collected. Zygosity was established genetically for a subset. DM was defined as HbA1c ≥6.5% (48 mmol/mol) and MS by the International Diabetes Federation criteria.RESULTSHbA1c was available for 574 twins and 463 singletons. Mean age was 15.3 years versus 15.8 years, respectively. Eighteen percent of twins were monozygotic. There were no DM cases among twins but one among singletons. A total of 1.4% (8 of 574) of twins had elevated HbA1c (6.0-6.4%, 42-46 mmol/mol) compared with 2.4% (11 of 463) of singletons (P = 0.28). Mean HbA1c was 5.3% (34 mmol/mol) for both groups. MS data were available for 364 twins and 360 singletons. The MS prevalence was 3.0% (11 of 364) among twins and 3.6% (13 of 360) among singletons (P = 0.66). The prevalence of fasting blood glucose (F-glucose) ≥5.6 mmol/L was 34.9% (127 of 364) for twins versus 24.7% (89 of 360) for singletons (P = 0.003). Median homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance did not differ (P = 0.34).CONCLUSIONSThe MS and DM prevalences among young individuals in Guinea-Bissau were low. Twins did not have a higher MS and DM burden than singletons, though elevated F-glucose was more common among twins.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)3549-3556
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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