Hyperinsulinemia in African-American adolescents compared with their American white peers despite similar insulin sensitivity: a reflection of upregulated beta-cell function?

Diabetes Care. 2008 Jul;31(7):1445-7. doi: 10.2337/dc08-0116. Epub 2008 Apr 16.


Objective: African-American (AA) children are hyperinsulinemic and insulin resistant compared with American white (AW) children. Previously, we demonstrated that insulin secretion relative to insulin sensitivity was approximately 75% higher in AA compared with AW children, suggesting that hyperinsulinemia in AA children is not merely a compensatory response to lower insulin sensitivity. The aim of the present investigation was to assess whether glucose-stimulated insulin response is higher in AA versus AW adolescents who have comparable in vivo insulin sensitivity.

Research design and methods: The hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamp techniques were utilized to assess first- and second-phase insulin secretion. Insulin secretion relative to insulin sensitivity was calculated as the glucose disposition index.

Results: AA adolescents compared with their AW peers with comparable insulin sensitivity and body composition had higher first-phase insulin concentrations.

Conclusions: The quantitative relationship between insulin sensitivity and first-phase insulin appears to differ among AA and AW adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Adolescent
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / epidemiology*
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Male
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose