In a study evaluating the ethnic differences in the pancreatic triglyceride levels of obese patients, Hispanic nondiabetic patients were found to be most likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Researchers compared black, white, and Hispanic participants who were determined to be prediabetic. Over the course of 3 research visits, subjects were given an oral glucose tolerance test and frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance tests for the evaluation of beta-cell function and insulin resistance. They also underwent proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy for evaluation of pancreatic and hepatic triglyceride levels.
According to the study, conducted by researchers from Cedars-Sinai and published online in Diabetes Care
, Hispanics are more likely to store fat in their pancreas. Even though whites and Hispanics were found to have similar pancreatic triglyceride levels, Hispanics were less able than blacks or whites to excrete additional metabolismregulating hormone (insulin) to compensate for increases in fat levels in the pancreas.
The researchers believe that biologic measures could help predict the incidence of type 2 diabetes. “Our data implicate pancreatic [triglyceride] content measured by proton resonance spectroscopy as a noninvasive novel biomarker for pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction, especially in the Hispanic population,” they wrote.