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Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Jun;4(2):241-9. doi: 10.1007/s13679-015-0150-2.

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Insulin Resistance and Beta Cell Function: Relationship to Racial Disparities in Type 2 Diabetes among African Americans versus Caucasians.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, 88 East Newton Street, Boston, MA, 02118, USA. brookehasson2@gmail.com.
2
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, 88 East Newton Street, Boston, MA, 02118, USA. caroline.apovian@bmc.org.
3
, 88 E. Newton St., Boston, MA, 02118, USA. nawfal.istfan@bmc.org.

Abstract

Both biological and sociocultural factors have been implicated in the well-documented racial disparity in incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) between African Americans (AA) and non-Hispanic whites (NHW). This review examines the extent to which biological differences in glucose metabolism, specifically insulin resistance and beta cell function (BCF), contribute to this disparity. The majority of available data suggests that AA are more insulin resistant and have upregulated BCF compared to NHW. Increasing evidence implicates high insulin secretion as a cause rather than consequence of T2D; therefore, upregulated BCF in AA may specifically confer increased risk of T2D in this cohort. Racial disparities in the metabolic characteristics of T2D have direct implications for the treatment and health consequences of this disease; therefore, future research is needed to determine whether strategies to reduce insulin secretion in AA may prevent or delay T2D and lessen racial health disparities.

KEYWORDS:

Beta cell function; Disposition index; Glucose metabolism; Insulin sensitivity

PMID:
26627219
DOI:
10.1007/s13679-015-0150-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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