Black women, compared with White women, have high rates of whole-body insulin resistance but a lower prevalence of fasting hyperglycemia and hepatic steatosis. This dissociation of whole-body insulin resistance from fasting hyperglycemia may be explained by racial differences in gluconeogenesis, hepatic fat, or tissue-specific insulin sensitivity. Two groups of premenopausal federally employed women, without diabetes were studied. Using stable isotope tracers, [2H2O] and [6,62-H2]glucose, basal glucose production was partitioned into its components (gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis) and basal whole-body lipolysis ([2H5]glycerol) was measured. Indices of insulin sensitivity, whole-body (SI), hepatic (HISIGPR), and adipose tissue, were calculated. Hepatic fat was measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Black women had less hepatic fat and lower fractional and absolute gluconeogenesis. Whole-body SI, HISIGPR, and adipose tissue sensitivity were similar by race, but at any given level of whole-body SI, Black women had higher HISIGPR. Therefore, fasting hyperglycemia may be a less common early pathological feature of prediabetes in Black women compared with White women, because gluconeogenesis remains lower despite similar whole-body SI.
Stephanie T. Chung, Amber B. Courville, Anthony U. Onuzuruike, Mirella Galvan-De La Cruz, Lilian S. Mabundo, Christopher W. DuBose, Kannan Kasturi, Hongyi Cai, Ahmed M. Gharib, Peter J. Walter, H. Martin Garraffo, Shaji Chacko, Morey W. Haymond, Anne E. Sumner