Racial and ethnic differences in an estimated measure of insulin resistance among individuals with type 1 diabetes

Diabetes Care. 2010 Mar;33(3):614-9. doi: 10.2337/dc09-1220. Epub 2009 Dec 10.


OBJECTIVE Insulin resistance is greater in racial/ethnic minorities than in non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) for those with and without type 2 diabetes. Because previous research on insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes was limited to NHWs, racial/ethnic variation in an estimated measure of insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes was determined. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The sample included 79 individuals with type 1 diabetes diagnosed at age <18 years (32.9% NHWs, 46.8% non-Hispanic black [NHB], 7.6% other/mixed, and 12.7% Hispanic) and their families. Estimated glucose disposal rate (eGDR) (milligrams per kilogram per minute; a lower eGDR indicates greater insulin resistance) was calculated using A1C, waist circumference, and hypertension status. RESULTS Mean current age was 13.5 years (range 3.2-32.5) and diabetes duration was 5.7 years (0.1-19.9). eGDR was inversely associated with age. Compared with that in NHWs, age-adjusted eGDR was significantly lower among nonwhites (NHB, other/mixed, and Hispanic: Delta = -1.83, P = 0.0006). Age-adjusted eGDR was negatively associated with body fat, triglycerides, urinary albumin/creatinine, acanthosis nigricans, parental obesity, and parental insulin resistance and positively related to HDL and sex hormone-binding globulin. In multivariable analysis, lower eGDR was significantly associated with older age, nonwhite race/ethnicity, acanthosis, and lower HDL. CONCLUSIONS Minorities with type 1 diabetes are significantly more insulin resistant, as measured by eGDR, than NHWs. Exploring potential mechanisms, including disparities in care and/or physiological variation, may contribute to preventing racial/ethnic differences in insulin resistance-associated outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Endocrine / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Racial Groups* / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose