HOMA-Estimated Insulin Resistance Is an Independent Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects

Prospective data from the Verona Diabetes Complications Study

  1. Enzo Bonora, MD, PHD,
  2. Gianni Formentini, MD,
  3. Francesco Calcaterra, MD,
  4. Simonetta Lombardi, MD,
  5. Franco Marini, MD,
  6. Luciano Zenari, MD,
  7. Francesca Saggiani, MD,
  8. Maurizio Poli, MD,
  9. Sandro Perbellini, MD,
  10. Andrea Raffaelli, MD,
  11. Vittorio Cacciatori, MD,
  12. Lorenza Santi,
  13. Giovanni Targher, MD,
  14. Riccardo Bonadonna, MD and
  15. Michele Muggeo, MD
  1. From the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, University of Verona Medical School, Verona, Italy


    OBJECTIVE—To evaluate whether homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in type 2 diabetes.

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Conventional CVD risk factors (sex, age, smoking, plasma lipids, blood pressure, and metabolic control) and insulin resistance (estimated by HOMA) were evaluated at baseline in 1,326 patients with type 2 diabetes examined within the Verona Diabetes Complications Study. At baseline and after a mean follow-up of 4.5 years, CVD was assessed by medical history, physical examination, electrocardiography, and echo-Doppler of carotid and lower limb arteries. Death certificates and medical records of subjects who died during the follow-up were carefully scrutinized to identify cardiovascular deaths. In statistical analyses, CVD was an aggregate end point including both fatal and nonfatal coronary, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular disease as well as ischemic electrocardiographic abnormalities and vascular lesions identified by echo-Doppler.

    RESULTS—At baseline, 441 subjects were coded positive for CVD (prevalent cases). Incident cases numbered 126. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that, along with sex, age, smoking, HDL/total cholesterol ratio, and hypertension, HOMA-IR was an independent predictor of both prevalent and incident CVD. A 1-unit increase in (log)HOMA-IR value was associated with an odds ratio for prevalent CVD at baseline of 1.31 (95% CI 1.10–1.56, P = 0.002) and for incident CVD during follow-up of 1.56 (95% CI 1.14–2.12, P < 0.001).

    CONCLUSIONS—HOMA-IR is an independent predictor of CVD in type 2 diabetes. The improvement of insulin resistance might have beneficial effects not only on glucose control but also on CVD in patients with type 2 diabetes.


    • Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof. Enzo Bonora, Endocrinologia e Malattie del Metabolismo, Ospedale Maggiore, Piazzale Stefani, 1, I-37126 Verona, Italy. E-mail: enbonor{at}tin.it.

      Received for publication 20 September 2001 and accepted in revised form 7 April 2002.

      A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

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