Development and Progression of Atherosclerotic Disease in Relation to Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinemia

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It is unclear whether the role of insulin resistance in the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is similar in populations in which the incidence of atherosclerotic diseases significantly differs from that in Western countries. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between insulin resistance and the development of cardiovascular disease in the Japanese population. We conducted 75 g-oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) on 1,928 inhabitants of two towns in Hokkaido, Japan. Subjects using anti-hypertensive agents and known diabetic patients were excluded from the study. Data from the remaining 1,227 subjects (540 males and 687 females; mean age 56.0±10.8 years) were used for the analysis, and 1,051 subjects were seen in a follow-up care setting for a period of 8 years. The presence of insulin resistance was defined according to the guidelines reported our previous study: insulin levels of 64.0 mU/l or higher 2 h after the 75 g-OGTT. The insulin-resistant (IR) group had several risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, treated or untreated hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and obesity. During the follow-up period of 8 years, the incidence of coronary artery disease, which was adjusted for age, body mass index, sex, systolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol was significantly (3.2 times) higher in the IR group than in the insulin non-resistant group. The results suggested that insulin resistance is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease in Japanese subjects, as has also been demonstrated in the case of individuals in Europe and USA.


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Correspondence to Tadashi Fujiwara.

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Fujiwara, T., Saitoh, S., Takagi, S. et al. Development and Progression of Atherosclerotic Disease in Relation to Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinemia. Hypertens Res 28, 665–670 (2005) doi:10.1291/hypres.28.665

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  • insulin resistance
  • cardiovascular disease
  • risk factors

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