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Black African men with early type 2 diabetes have similar muscle, liver and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity to white European men despite lower visceral fat – published online 16/02/2019

Fig from Bello paper

Oluwatoyosi Bello, Cynthia Mohandas, Fariba Shojee-Moradie, Nicola Jackson, Olah Hakim, K. George M. M. Alberti, Janet L. Peacock, A. Margot Umpleby, Stephanie A. Amiel, Louise M. Goff


Black African populations experience disproportionately high rates of type 2 diabetes but typically present with less visceral fat deposition than other ethnic groups. In this issue, Bello et al ( use highly sensitive techniques to investigate ethnic differences in visceral fat and tissue-specific insulin sensitivity between men of black African and white European ethnicity with type 2 diabetes. They report comparable insulin sensitivity in the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in the two groups, despite lower visceral fat in the black African men. The authors suggest that excess adiposity, particularly visceral deposition, is a smaller driver of insulin resistance in black African men than in white European men and this supports the notion that there may be ethnic differences in the development of type 2 diabetes.

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