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Genetic Link Found for Insulin Resistance

Mexican-Americans group most affected by the disorder

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Scientists have found a gene that causes insulin resistance in Mexican-Americans, the ethnic group with the highest prevalence of the condition.

Insulin resistance is a syndrome in which the body does not respond as well as it should to insulin, and it's linked to the development of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have found lipoprotein lipase (LPL), a gene that controls the delivery of fatty acids to muscles and tissues, is linked to insulin resistance in Mexican-Americans.

The findings, reported in the January issue of Diabetes, may let scientists design therapies that target LPL to prevent insulin resistance, a condition that affects one of four adult Americans.

"This is the first study to definitively show that LPL is a gene for common insulin resistance," says Dr. Jerome I. Rotter, director of the Common Disease Genetics Program at Cedars-Sinai.

Future studies will focus on exactly how the LPL gene influences insulin resistance.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about insulin resistance.

SOURCES: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, news release, December 2003
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