Diabetes risk factor amongst lean black women

Wed, 28 Jun 2006
Lean, black women are more prone to insulin resistance, a major risk factor in the development of diabetes and heart disease that is usually seen in obese people . The findings come following research at the Wake Forest University .

Jorge Calles-Escandon, MD, an associate professor of endocrinology at the University, and his research team uncovered the surprise result after measuring insulin resistance amongst 1,600 white, black and Hispanic Americans.

Calles-Escandon reported that: "We saw that if you are an obese African-American or an obese Mexican-American, you have about the same rate of insulin resistance as an obese Anglo-American. But when we took a look at the lean group, I couldn't believe it. The lean African-American cohort - most strikingly, the lean African-American women - had quite a bit more insulin resistance than lean people in either of the other two groups."

Insulin resistance is seen as a serious risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Insulin aids the cells in taking up sugar, and insulin resistance means an over-production of insulin in the pancreas. The end result is raised blood sugar levels and diabetes.

Experts said that the need for a universal measure of insulin resistance whereby people could be quickly and efficiently tested was paramount.
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