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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2014 Nov;74(8):700-7. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2014.953571. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Adipose tissue distribution in relation to insulin sensitivity and inflammation in Pakistani and Norwegian subjects with type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine.


Immigrants from South Asia to Western countries have a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) associated with obesity. We investigated the relationship between diabetes and adipose tissue distribution in a group of younger T2DM subjects from Norway and Pakistan. Eighteen immigrant Pakistani and 21 Norwegian T2DM subjects (age 29-45, 49% men) were included. They underwent anthropometrical measurements including bioelectrical impedance analysis, CT scans measuring fatty infiltration in liver and adipose and muscle tissue compartments in mid-abdomen and thigh, a euglycemic clamp, and blood samples for serum insulin and plasma glucose, adipokines and inflammation markers. Adipose tissue distribution was similar in Norwegians and Pakistanis. Pakistanis, but not Norwegians, showed a negative correlation between insulin sensitivity and visceral adipose tissue (VAT, rs = - 0.704, p = 0.003). Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) correlated to leptin in both Pakistanis and Norwegians (rs = 0.88, p < 0.001 and 0.67, p = 0.001). SAT also correlated to C-reactive protein (CRP) in the Pakistanis only (rs = 0.55, p = 0.03), and superficial SAT to Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) in Norwegians only (rs = 0.47, p = 0.04). In conclusion, despite similar adipose tissue distribution in the two groups Pakistanis were more insulin resistant, with a negative correlation of VAT to insulin sensitivity, not present in Norwegians. The correlation of adipose tissue to Leptin, CRP and IL-1RA showed ethnic differences.


Anthropometry; C-reactive protein; Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist; Leptin; Southern Asia; X-ray computed; human; immigrants; insulin resistance; subcutaneous adipose tissue; tomography; visceral adipose tissue

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