Insulin levels in insulin resistance: Phantom of the metabolic opera?

Katherine Samaras, Aidan McElduff, Stephen M. Twigg, Joseph Proietto, John B. Prins, Timothy A. Welborn, Paul Zimmet, Donald J. Chisholm, Lesley V. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin resistance is considered a core component in the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome. • Some clinicians measure serum insulin concentrations in the mistaken belief that they can be used to diagnose insulin resistance. • Serum insulin levels are poor measures of insulin resistance. Furthermore, there is no clinical benefit in measuring insulin resistance in clinical practice. • Measurements of fasting serum insulin levels should be reserved for large population-based epidemiological studies, where they can provide valuable data on the relationship of insulin sensitivity to risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. • Clinicians should shift from identifying "insulin resistance" to identifying riskfactors, such as fasting glucose and lipid levels, hypertension and central obesity. These proven risk factors converge within the metabolic syndrome. • Individuals "at risk" of diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiac disease can be identified simply and inexpensively, using classic clinical techniques, such as history-taking, physical examination, and very basic investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

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