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Race may be risk factor for insulin resistance

as obesity increases, but it was not previously known that race alone may influence insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to even very high levels of insulin, which causes glucose to build up in the blood.

It is not know how many people with insulin resistance develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it is assumed that treating insulin resistance with weight loss and exercise will help prevent those diseases.

Calles-Escandon, an associate professor of endocrinology, said that the results suggest that the definition of "obesity" may need to be redefined in black women. "If the results hold true, black women may need to be evaluated and treated for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease even at weight not considered obese by current standards," he said.

He said additional research is needed to explore how obesity relates to insulin resistance in men, as well as whether the women with insulin resistance have a higher percentage of body fat, or body fat that is distributed differently, from the Caucasian or Hispanic women.

Other potential areas of research include determining if certain genes in blacks lead to insulin resistance, and whether the insulin resistance is accompanied by other changes that may promote diabetes, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, including reduced elasticity of vessels or deposits of calcium in the vessels leading to the heart.

IRAS involved 1,625 people from San Antonio, Texas, San Luis Valley, Colo., and Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
26-Jun-2006


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