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Significance of an index of insulin resistance on admission in non-diabetic patients with acute coronary syndromes


BACKGROUND Insulin resistance is associated with ischaemic heart disease and has been proposed as a risk factor for subsequent myocardial infarction.

AIM To investigate the potential use of a recently proposed insulin resistance index in identifying insulin resistance in patients admitted with an acute coronary syndrome.

METHODS Single centre study of 441 non-diabetic patients admitted with chest pain to a coronary care unit and followed prospectively for a median of three years for outcome. Admission glucose and insulin concentrations were measured and from these values an admission index of insulin resistance (AIRI) calculated. Its association with other known factors in the insulin resistance syndrome, and subsequent outcome, was examined.

RESULTS The AIRI was greater in patients with myocardial infarction than in a control group without myocardial infarction (p < 0.0001). A Cox regression model for subsequent cardiac death identified previous myocardial infarction (p < 0.0001), infarct size (p < 0.0001), and AIRI (p = 0.0033) as positive risk predictors. Patients of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin had greater AIRI values than white patients: mean (SD) 7.5 (1.3) v 4.6 (0.2), p < 0.001.

CONCLUSIONS A simple index of insulin resistance measured on patients admitted with myocardial infarction provides an important predictive measure of poor outcome and is superior to admission glucose measurement. It may be useful in identifying patients admitted with myocardial infarction who could benefit from alternative early management strategies.

  • myocardial infarction
  • unstable angina
  • insulin resistance
  • glucose

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