BACKGROUND AND AIM: We evaluated the relationship between insulin resistance (IR) and insulin secretion with the metabolic syndrome (MS) in 885 subjects (377 men/508 women, age 49±11 years, BMI 29±5.2kgm(-2)) at risk of diabetes enrolled in the genetics, pathophysiology and evolution of type 2 diabetes (GENFIEV) study. METHODS AND RESULTS: All subjects underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) for the estimation of plasma levels of glucose and C-peptide, as well as fasting insulin and lipid profile. IR was arbitrarily defined as HOMA-IR value above the 75th centile of normal glucose tolerance (NGT) subjects. Overall MS prevalence (National Cholesterol Treatment Panel-Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATPIII) criteria) was 33%, 19% in subjects with NGT, 42% in impaired fasting glucose (IFG), 34% in impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), 74% in IFG+IGT subjects, and 56% in newly diagnosed diabetic patients. Prevalence was slightly higher with IDF criteria. MS prevalence was >50% in subjects with 2h glucose >7.8mmoll(-1), independently of fasting plasma glucose. IR prevalence was higher in subjects with MS than in those without (63% vs. 23%; p<0.0001) and increased from 54% to 73% and 88% in the presence of three, four or five traits, respectively. IR occurred in 42% of subjects with non-diabetic alterations of glucose homeostasis, being the highest in those with IFG+IGT (IFG+IGT 53%, IFG 45%, IGT 38%; p<0.0001). Individuals with MS were more IR irrespective of glucose tolerance (p<0.0001) with no difference in insulinogenic index. Hypertriglyceridaemia (OR: 3.38; Confidence Interval, CI: 2.294.99), abdominal obesity (3.26; CI: 2.18-4.89), hyperglycaemia (3.02; CI: 1.80-5.07) and hypertension (1.69; CI: 1.12-2.55) were all associated with IR. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that in subjects with altered glucose tolerance (in particular IFG+IGT) MS prevalence is high and is generally associated to IR. Some combinations of traits of MS may significantly contribute to identify subjects with IR.
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