Gastric emptying in Mexican Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites

Joyce G. Schwartz, C. Alex McMahan, Gary M. Green, William T. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Mexican Americans, a group at high risk for type II diabetes mellitus, have higher postprandial insulin and glucose levels when compared to non-Hispanic whites. A rapid rate of gastric emptying contributes to an increased rate of nutrient absorption and subsequent greater elevation of postprandial glucose and insulin levels. A more rapid rate of gastric emptying and hyperinsulinemia have been observed in patients with recently diagnosed type II diabetes mellitus. In this study, we examined whether Mexican Americans have a more rapid rate of gastric emptying than non-Hispanic whites. Gastric emptying studies were performed on 32 nondiabetic Mexican Americans and on 31 nondiabetic non-Hispanic whites. The rate of gastric emptying following a liquid glucose meal was measured. Serum insulin, plasma glucose, and GIP levels were measured in fasting and postprandial blood samples collected at 15-min intervals for 2 hr. Adjusting for age, body mass index, and gender, the gastric half-emptying time of a glucose meal was significantly (P<0.05) more rapid for the Mexican American subjects (56.5±3.4 min) compared to the non-Hispanic white subjects (66.4±3.5 min). Nondiabetic Mexican Americans empty a liquid glucose meal more rapidly from their stomachs than nondiabetic non-Hispanic whites. Rapid gastric emptying is associated with hyperinsulinemia as a normal physiologic response to increased nutrient availability. The rapid gastric emptying observed in nondiabetic Mexican Americans is associated with hyperinsulinemia and could be a contributing factor for the increased risk of obesity and type II diabetes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-630
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995


  • Mexican Americans
  • diabetes mellitus
  • gastric emptying
  • hyperinsulinemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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