Limitations in the Use of Indices Using Glucose and Insulin Levels to Predict Insulin Sensitivity: Impact of race and gender and superiority of the indices derived from oral glucose tolerance test in African Americans


Exercise Science and Sport Management

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OBJECTIVE To examine the utility of commonly used insulin sensitivity indices in nondiabetic European Americans (EAs) and African Americans (AAs). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Two-hundred forty nondiabetic participants were studied. Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp was the gold standard approach to assess glucose disposal rates (GDR) normalized by lean body mass. The homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) were calculated from fasting plasma glucose and insulin (FIL). Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed to determine Matsuda index, the simple index assessing insulin sensitivity (SIisOGTT), Avignon index, and Stomvoll index. Relationships among these indices with GDR were analyzed by multiple regression. RESULTS GDR values were similar in EA and AA subgroups; even so, AA exhibited higher FIL and were insulin-resistant compared with EA, as assessed by HOMA-IR, QUICKI, Matsuda index, SIisOGTT, Avignon index, and Stumvoll index. In the overall study population, GDR was significantly correlated with all studied insulin sensitivity indices (/r/ = 0.381–0.513); however, these indices were not superior to FIL in predicting GDR. Race and gender affected the strength of this relationship. In AA males, FIL and HOMA-IR were not correlated with GDR. In contrast, Matsuda index and SIisOGTT were significantly correlated with GDR in AA males, and Matsuda index was superior to HOMA-IR and QUICKI in AAs overall. CONCLUSIONS Insulin sensitivity indices based on glucose and insulin levels should be used cautiously as measures of peripheral insulin sensitivity when comparing mixed gender and mixed race populations. Matsuda index and SIisOGTT are reliable in studies that include AA males.

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Diabetes Care

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