/publications/issue/2003/2003-02/2003-02-7110

No "One Size Fits All"

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According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is twice as common among blacks and Hispanics as among whites, but the disease mechanism may be quite different.

Researchers at the University of Southern California measured the fasting glucose and insulin levels for groups of white, African-American, and Hispanic children.

Each child was then given an intravenous injection of glucose, and insulin levels were measured again.

The black and Hispanic children were found to be more insulin resistant than the whites?but for different reasons.

In Hispanic children, the pancreas tended to compensate for reduced insulin sensitivity by pumping out more of the hormone.

In the black children, insulin levels were elevated because the liver was not removing as much of it from the bloodstream.

The study concluded that diet, exercise, and genetics may all contribute to the development of diabetes, but ?the bottom line is that there is no ?one-size-fits-all? approach to prevention and treatment for everyone.?