Insulin resistance characterizes type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, disorders associated with an increased risk of death due to macrovascular disease. In the past few decades, research from both the basic science and clinical arenas has enabled evidence-based use of therapeutic modalities such as statins and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors to reduce cardiovascular (CV) mortality in insulin-resistant patients. Recently, promising drugs such as the thiazolidinediones have come under scrutiny for possible deleterious CV effects. Ongoing research has broadened our understanding of the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, implicating detrimental effects of inflammation and the cellular stress response on the vasculature. In this review, we address current thinking that is shaping our molecular understanding of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-621
Number of pages19
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


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