Hamdan Medical Journal (previously the Journal of Medical Sciences)

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Substantial proportion of apparently healthy, urban south Indian young adults has insulin resistance associated with other cardiovascular risk factors

R Hemalatha, V. V. Annapurna, K. Damayanthi, K. V. Radhakrishna
Published in : Journal of Medical Sciences ; Vol 3, No 2 (2010)
DOI : 10.2174/1996327001003020110


Objective: To study the prevalence and correlation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in apparently healthy, urban south Indian young adults.

Research Design and Methods: Eighty-five apparently healthy men and women volunteers aged twenty to thirty years with no smoking habit were recruited as study subjects. Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, plasma zinc, adiponectin, resistin, blood glucose, insulin concentration and lipid levels were measured.

Results: A significant proportion (43.8%) of the study subjects had poor insulin sensitivity as judged by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) ≥3.16 and a proportion of 36.3% had body mass index (BMI) ≥23.0. Total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations were higher than the normal values in 7.1% and 8.2% respectively while HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) was less than the normal value in 58.8% of the subjects. 7.2% of the subjects had Zinc deficiency. Significantly higher proportions of males had higher BMI and higher HOMA compared to females (P<0.05). Mean zinc values were higher in females compared to males. BMI was directly associated with HOMA (P<0.05), while zinc was inversely associated with HOMA (P<0.05). Of the two adipokines tested, resistin was not associated with any of the parameters studied, but adiponectin was associated both with BMI (p<0.05) and HOMA (p<0.06).

Conclusion: Poor insulin sensitivity and low HDL-C concentration, which are important risk factors for CVD are commonly prevalent in young adults. Adiponectin was inversely associated with insulin sensitivity. The finding that zinc levels are lower in males compared to females indicates a likelihood for zinc having a role in insulin sensitivity and a male predisposition to develop insulin resistance and higher BMI.


Indian young adults; HOMA; BMI; zinc; adipokines

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