American Diabetes Association
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Relationship Between Insulin Secretion and Insulin Sensitivity and its Role in Development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Beyond the Disposition Index

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posted on 2021-10-18, 22:58 authored by Elsa Vazquez Arreola, Robert L. Hanson, Clifton Bogardus, William C. Knowler
We assessed whether the relationship between insulin secretion and sensitivity predicted development of type 2 diabetes in American Indians participating in a longitudinal epidemiologic study. At baseline, when all subjects did not have diabetes, 1566 participants underwent oral tests and 420 had intravenous measures of glucose regulation with estimates of insulin secretion and sensitivity. Standardized major axis regression was used to study the relationship of secretion and sensitivity. Distances away from and along the regression line estimated compensatory insulin secretion and secretory demand, respectively. This relationship differed according to glucose tolerance and BMI categories. The distance away from the line is similar to the disposition index (DI) defined as the product of estimated secretion and sensitivity, but the regression line may differ from a line with constant DI (i.e., it is not necessarily hyperbolic). Subjects with the same DI but different levels of insulin secretion and sensitivity had different incidence rates of diabetes; lower sensitivity with higher secretory demand was associated with greater diabetes risk. Insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, analyzed together, predict diabetes better than DI alone. Physiologically, this may reflect long-term risk associated with increased allostatic load resulting from the stimulation of insulin hypersecretion by increased glycemia.


Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


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