The Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest reported prevalence and incidence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) of any population in the world. A cross-sectional and longitudinal study was begun in 1982 to determine the metabolic characteristic(s) that is (are) predictive of the development of NIDDM and to document the sequence of metabolic events that occur with the transition from normal to impaired glucose tolerance and then to diabetes. Preliminary analyses suggest that insulin resistance is a primary abnormality predisposing Pima Indians to develop impaired glucose tolerance, and that the development of diabetes occurs with subsequent pancreatic failure.
Bogardus, C., Lillioja, S. and Bennett, P. H. (1991). 'Pathogenesis of NIDDM in Pima Indians', Diabetes Care, 14 (7), 685-690.