Exploring the determinants of ethnic differences in insulin clearance between men of Black African and White European ethnicity

Meera Ladwa, Oluwatoyosi Bello, Olah Hakim, Maria Linda Boselli, Fariba Shojaee-Moradie, A. Margot Umpleby, Janet Peacock, Stephanie A. Amiel, Riccardo C. Bonadonna, Louise M. Goff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: People of Black African ancestry, who are known to be at disproportionately high risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), typically exhibit lower hepatic insulin clearance compared with White Europeans. However, the mechanisms underlying this metabolic characteristic are poorly understood. We explored whether low insulin clearance in Black African (BA) men could be explained by insulin resistance, subclinical inflammation or adiponectin concentrations. Methods: BA and White European (WE) men, categorised as either normal glucose tolerant (NGT) or with T2D, were recruited to undergo the following: a mixed meal tolerance test with C-peptide modelling to determine endogenous insulin clearance; fasting serum adiponectin and cytokine profiles; a hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp to measure whole-body insulin sensitivity; and magnetic resonance imaging to quantify visceral adipose tissue. Results: Forty BA (20 NGT and 20 T2D) and 41 WE (23 NGT and 18 T2D) men were studied. BA men had significantly lower insulin clearance (P = 0.011) and lower plasma adiponectin (P = 0.031) compared with WE men. In multiple regression analysis, ethnicity, insulin sensitivity and plasma adiponectin were independent predictors of insulin clearance, while age, visceral adiposity and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) did not significantly contribute to the variation. Conclusion: These data suggest that adiponectin may play a direct role in the upregulation of insulin clearance beyond its insulin-sensitising properties.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Oct 2021


  • Adiponectin
  • African
  • Ethnicity
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin clearance
  • Type 2 diabetes


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