Association between obesity phenotypes of insulin resistance and risk of type 2 diabetes in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study

Sean Lee, Mary E. Lacy, Mathew Jankowich, Adolfo Correa, Wen Chih Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether insulin resistance (IR) measured by homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) can further stratify diabetes risk in African Americans (AAs) beyond obesity and identify obese, low risk and non-obese, high risk individuals. Methods: Using the Jackson Heart Study cohort, we categorized participants without diabetes into four phenotypes: non-obese/insulin-sensitive, non-obese/IR, obese/insulin-sensitive and obese/IR. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 30 or BMI 25–30 plus an increased waist circumference. IR was defined as HOMA-IR ≥ 2. We used modified Poisson regression models to estimate the incident risk-ratios (IRR) of diabetes across these phenotypes adjusting for potential confounders and HbA1c. Results: Among 3219 AAs without diabetes, 14.0% were non-obese/insulin-sensitive, 24.6% non-obese/IR, 6.2% obese/insulin-sensitive, and 55.3% obese/IR. The overall crude incidence rate of diabetes was 29.91 cases/1000 person-years. In fully-adjusted models, compared to the non-obese/insulin-sensitive group, the relative risk of diabetes was highest in obese/IR (IRR = 2.35; 95% CI: 1.53, 3.60), followed by non-obese/IR (IRR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.46), and non-significant for the obese/insulin-sensitive (IRR = 1.70; 95% CI: 0.97, 2.99) group. Conclusions: HOMA-IR can further stratify diabetes risk in AA adults beyond obesity, identifying non-obese high-risk and lower-risk obese individuals. However, diabetes risk should still be carefully monitored in obese populations despite insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100210
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Adiposity
  • Black race
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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