Prevalence of acanthosis nigricans and its association with hyperinsulinemia in New Mexico adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2001 May;28(5):372-6. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(00)00217-2.


Purpose: To determine whether the association between acanthosis nigricans (AN) and hyperinsulinemia is independent of obesity and other variables.

Methods: A convenience sample of 675 New Mexico middle school students was screened to determine the presence of AN, obesity, and other variables, including: ethnicity, parental history of diabetes, and level of physical activity. Fasting glucose and insulin levels were drawn on 233 students to determine the association between risk factors and hyperinsulinemia.

Results: Acanthosis nigricans (AN) was present in 18.9% of students screened. Twenty-one percent of the subsample had hyperinsulinemia. Based on these results, the estimated prevalence of hyperinsulinemia among all middle school students in New Mexico was 8.9%. Forty-seven percent (47.2%) of students who had AN and were obese had hyperinsulinemia, compared with 2.4% of students who did not have either of these conditions. In multiple logistic regression analysis, AN and obesity were independently and positively associated with hyperinsulinemia, whereas physical activity was protective.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of risk factors in this population makes diabetes prevention a priority for public health action. AN screening is an easily performed, noninvasive method for identifying adolescents at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans / complications
  • Acanthosis Nigricans / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications
  • Hyperinsulinism / epidemiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • New Mexico / epidemiology
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Selection Bias
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose