Visual Abstract

Aim: To investigate the relationships of β cell function and insulin resistance in East Asians and Caucasians.

Methods: We searched for studies that used homeostasis model assessment to evaluate β cell function (HOMA-β) and insulin sensitivity/resistance (HOMA-S/HOMA-IR) in the two races. Random-effect model was used to analyze pooled HOMAs in NGT, IGR and T2DM. Linear regression was used to compare the coefficient of log transformed HOMA-S on log transformed HOMA-β between races.

Results: We evaluated pooled data of HOMAs in 208 studies (110 NGT, 52 IGR and 46 T2DM). In NGT, East Asians had lower HOMA-β [103.1 (93.9,112.4) vs. 131.0 (117.9,144.0)] and HOMA-IR [1.7 (1.6,1.8) vs. 1.9 (1.6,2.3)] versus Caucasians. Similar pattern was found in IGR and T2DM. In both races, HOMA-β progressively decreased in NGT, IGR and T2DM and HOMA-IR increased accordingly. The coefficients of lnHOMA-S on lnHOMA-β were similar between East Asians and Caucasians with NGT (P=0.128) or IGR (P=0.672) (Figure). In T2DM, HOMA-S and HOMA-β did not fit the hyperbola.

Conclusion: East Asians and Caucasians had similar β cell response relative to insulin resistance. During the progression from NGT to T2DM, the relationships between HOMA-β and HOMA-S changed in a similar pattern between the two races. Our study challenges the previous saying that East Asians had worse β cell function.


L. Li: None. X. Zou: None. L. Ji: None.

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