chapter  3
22 Pages

Role of Epigenetics in the Complications Associated with Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders

The incidence of diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic disorders is growing rapidly and has become a major healthcare issue worldwide in both developed and developing countries. Changes in the environment and nutrition have been implicated as major players. While diabetes itself is treatable at least to a large extent, it is associated with signicantly increased incidence of numerous complications, including cardiovascular and kidney diseases. It is also one of the leading causes of blindness and lower limb amputations. Since diabetes and its complications would require lifelong or long-term treatment, diabetic patients face signicantly higher medical costs. With the number of diabetic patients predicted to double in the next 20 years, access to affordable health care is expected to become an even greater challenge. Current treatments have added focus on preventative approaches so as to avoid future diabetic complications. Unfortunately, diabetic patients quite

Diabetes and Its Consequences ........................................................................................................ 41 Types of Diabetes ............................................................................................................................. 42 Obesity, Exercise, Nutrition, Aging, and the Environment .............................................................. 42 Mechanistic Basis for Diabetic Complications ................................................................................ 43 Epigenetics and the Regulation of Gene Expression .......................................................................44