Postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity differ among lean young adults of different ethnicities

S. Dickinson*, S. Colagiuri, E. Faramus, P. Petocz, J. C. Brand-Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Both postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin resistance (IR) have implications for the development of cardiovascular disease. The present study was designed to examine differences in postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity among young adults of different ethnic origins. Lean, healthy subjects (n = 60) from five ethnic groups [20 European Caucasians, 10 Chinese, 10 South East (SE) Asians, 10 Asian Indians and 10 Arabic Caucasians] were matched for age, body mass index, waist circumference, birth weight and current diet. A 75-g white bread carbohydrate challenge was fed to assess postprandial glycemia and insulinemia. Insulin sensitivity was assessed in three groups by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp and in all subjects by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) modeling. Postprandial hyperglycemia (incremental area under the curve) and insulin sensitivity (M-value) both showed a twofold variation among the groups (P < 0.001) and were significantly related to each other (R2 = 56%, P < 0.001). Young SE Asians had the highest postprandial glycemia and lowest insulin sensitivity, whereas European and Arabic Caucasian subjects were the most insulin sensitive and carbohydrate tolerant. These findings suggest that IR is evident even in lean, young adults of some ethnic groups and is associated with significant increases in postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in response to a realistic carbohydrate load.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2574-2579
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrate tolerance
  • Glycemic and insulin responses
  • Insulin resistance
  • Postprandial hyperglycemia


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