Insulin resistance is associated with significant clinical atherosclerosis in nondiabetic patients with acute myocardial infarction

Wassef Karrowni, Yan Li, Philip G. Jones, Sharon Cresci, Mouin S. Abdallah, David E. Lanfear, Thomas M. Maddox, Darren K. McGuire, John A. Spertus, Phillip A. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective-The prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) is increasing worldwide because of increasing age, obesity, and physical inactivity. Emerging evidence supports a direct proatherogenic effect of IR on the coronary vasculature, but the relation between IR and angiographic atherosclerosis in a real-world clinical setting is uncertain. In this work, we assessed whether IR is independently associated with clinically significant angiographic atherosclerosis in nondiabetic individuals. Approach and Results-We examined the association between IR and the extent of coronary atherosclerosis determined by angiography in 1073 nondiabetic patients surviving acute myocardial infarction. Patients were divided into quartiles on the basis of the homeostasis model assessment grading of IR, and associations between IR and multivessel coronary artery disease, defined as ≥2 arteries with ≥70% stenosis (or ≥50% left main stenosis), were analyzed in bivariate and multivariable modeling. Overall, the cohort had a median age of 56 years; 28.9% women and 21.8% nonwhite. The crude prevalence of multivessel coronary artery disease was 37.8%, 42.3%, 47.2%, and 48.0% for homeostasis model assessment grading of IR quartiles 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively (Ptrend=0.009). In multivariable modeling, compared with quartile 1, both quartile 3 (relative risk [95% confidence interval], 1.31 [1.07-1.60]) and quartile 4 (1.29 [1.03-1.60]) were independently associated with multivessel coronary artery disease. Covariates in the model included patient demographic and clinical characteristics and metabolic factors (low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglyceride, glycosylated hemoglobin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein). Conclusions-We demonstrate an independent association between IR and multivessel coronary artery disease in nondiabetic postmyocardial infarction patients. Our findings strengthen the experimental evidence for a direct atherogenic effect of IR independent of glucose control and other components of the metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2251
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • atherosclerosis
  • insulin resistance


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