Determinants of estimated insulin resistance and β-cell function in Indian, Creole and Chinese Mauritians

G. K. Dowse, H. Qin, V. R. Collins, P. Z. Zimmet, K. G.M.M. Alberti, H. Gareeboo

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Associations with insulin resistance and islet β-cell function have been studied cross-sectionally in a population-based sample of 4278 Mauritians comprising Asian Indian, Creole and Chinese subjects. Insulin resistance and β-cell function were estimated by a computer solved model based on fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations. Insulin resistance increased with declining glucose tolerance, whereas β-cell function was highest in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and lowest in those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Indian subjects had the highest β-cell function, while ethnic differences in insulin sensitivity were-less marked. This may indicate that deranged β-cell function rather than insulin resistance is the primary determinant of hyperinsulinaemia and glucose intolerance in Asian Indians. β-Cell function declined with age more sharply than did insulin sensitivity, suggesting that the age-related decline in glucose tolerance is primarily related to loss of β-cell function. Body mass index, waist/hip ratio, physical inactivity and female sex were independently associated with insulin resistance and β-cell function. Subjects with a family history of diabetes had increased insulin resistance, irrespective of glucose tolerance. This or similar models may have application in longitudinal population-based studies which seek to determine the relative contributions of insulin resistance and β-cell function to the aetio-pathogenesis of NIDDM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian Indians
  • Insulin resistance
  • Mauritians
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • β-Cell function

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