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Metabolism. 2007 Jul;56(7):899-904.

Lipoprotein abnormalities are associated with insulin resistance in South Asian Indian women.

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Stanford Prevention Research Center and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine/Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


South Asian Indians are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), possibly related to dyslipidemia characterized by high triglyceride (TG) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. The importance of differences in insulin resistance as compared to abdominal obesity in the development of this atherogenic lipoprotein profile is not clear, and the current cross-sectional study was initiated to examine this issue. Consequently, we defined the relationship between differences in insulin-mediated glucose uptake (IMGU), abdominal obesity, and various measures of lipoprotein metabolism known to increase CHD risk in 52 apparently healthy women of South Asian Indian ancestry. IMGU was quantified by determining the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentration during the insulin suppression test and abdominal obesity was assessed by measurement of waist circumference (WC), and the population was divided into tertiles on the basis of their SSPG results. Results indicated that although there were significant differences in SSPG, TG, and HDL-C values, there were no differences in age, blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, or WC between the highest and lowest tertiles. SSPG concentrations were significantly correlated with both log TG (r = 0.44, P = .001) and HDL-C (r = -0.44, P < .001) concentration, whereas TG and HDL-C concentrations were not significantly related to WC. Furthermore, the relationships between SSPG concentration and TG and HDL-C remained significant when adjusted for age and WC. Finally, a more extensive lipoprotein analysis indicated that the most insulin resistant tertile had higher TG concentrations, lower concentrations of HDL-C and HDL-C subclasses, and smaller and denser low-density lipoprotein particles than the most insulin sensitive tertile, despite the 2 groups not being different in age, BMI, or WC. These results indicate that a highly atherogenic lipoprotein profile seen in South Asian Indian women is significantly associated with insulin resistance independent of differences in WC.

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