Differing aspects of insulin resistance in diabetes complications: the shape of things to come. RD Lawrence Lecture 2000

Diabet Med. 2002 Dec;19(12):973-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2002.00828.x.


The anticipated global epidemic of diabetes, largely as a consequence of increased rates of obesity, will particularly impact on people of South Asian and African Caribbean descent, two populations at elevated risk of insulin resistance. This article contrasts the consequent heightened risk of heart disease on the one hand in South Asians, and the paradoxical protection from heart disease in African Caribbeans on the other. Protection from the hypertriglyceridaemic effects of insulin resistance is likely to account for much of the African Caribbean paradox, although the mechanisms remain unclear. The growing evidence that insulin resistance is commonly observed in people with Type 1 diabetes, as well as those with Type 2 diabetes, and that features of insulin resistance may play a crucial role in the development of microvascular, as well as macrovascular complications, is also discussed. This indicates novel targets for the prevention and treatment of diabetes complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / ethnology
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / ethnology
  • Heart Diseases / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • West Indies / ethnology