Ethnic Differences in Insulin Resistance, Adiponectin Levels and Abdominal Obesity: Haitian Americans and African Americans, with and without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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Background: Metabolic outcomes of obesity and its associated disorders may not be equivalent across ethnicity and diabetes status.

Aim: In this paper, we examined the association of abdominal obesity, by ethnicity and diabetes status, for indicators of glucose metabolism in Blacks.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Haitian Americans (n= 186) and African Americans (n= 148) with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Student’s t-test and Chi-squared test were used to assess differences in mean and proportion values between ethnicities with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Relationship between insulin resistance, ethnicity, diabetes status, abdominal obesity, and adiponectin levels were analyzed by analysis of covariance while controlling for confounding variables.

Results:Haitian American participants were older (P = .032), had higher fasting plasma glucose (P = .036), and A1C (P = .016), but had lower levels of Hs-CRP (P < .001), insulin and HOMA2-IR and lower abdominal obesity (P = .030), than African Americans. Haitian Americans had significantly lower HOMA2-IR (P = .008) than African Americans when comparing both ethnicities with T2DM, high abdominal obesity, and adiponectin levels lower than the median (

Conclusion: The clinical significance of observed differences in insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and adiponectin levels between Haitian Americans and African Americans could assist in forming public health policies that are ethnic specific.

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Originally published in the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research.

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