Insulin resistance and lipid metabolism

Am J Cardiol. 1999 Jul 8;84(1A):28J-32J. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(99)00355-0.


The 3 major components of the dyslipidemia of insulin resistance are increased triglyceride levels, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and changes in the composition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Hyperinsulinemia and the central obesity that typically accompanies insulin resistance are thought to lead to overproduction of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol. The result is more triglyceride-rich particles, fewer HDL particles, and more small, dense LDL. Postprandial triglyceride levels and measures of postprandial remnants also may contribute to increased coronary artery disease (CAD) risk in individuals with insulin resistance. Deficiency of lipoprotein lipase, an insulin-sensitive enzyme, might explain the abnormal levels of remnant particles in insulin resistance. The potential benefits of successful treatment of dyslipidemia are illustrated by clinical trials in patients with the dyslipidemia characteristic of insulin resistance (i.e., normal or only moderately elevated LDL, elevated VLDL, and low HDL). Both weight loss and exercise can improve insulin resistance and associated dyslipidemia. In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, certain antidiabetic therapies can also improve the lipid profile by improving insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism*
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology*
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Syndrome


  • Hypoglycemic Agents