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In Brief: Black women may be more vulnerable to insulin resistance

October 1, 2006

In Brief

Black women may be more vulnerable to insulin resistance

African American women of normal weight are at greater risk for insulin resistance than their white or Hispanic counterparts, according to data presented by Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers at an Endocrine Society meeting in Boston in June 2006.

Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose from the blood to the cells, where it's used for energy or stored for future use. Insulin resistance occurs when the cells become less responsive to this hormone. The pancreas makes more insulin to compensate, but resistance continues, leading to a buildup of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance is a feature of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that includes hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol levels and is associated with heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

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