The Gly 972 Arg variant in the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) gene may interact with the pathogenesis of common insulin-resistance disorders raising the hypothesis that the mutation may predispose to type 2 diabetes. We examined the codon 972 variant in 144 non-diabetic first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes (FDR), who underwent extensive phenotyping: Glucose tolerance was determined by an oral glucose load, insulin sensitivity by euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic glucose clamp (glucose metabolic clearance rate, MCR) and body composition by bioelectrical impedance. 20 (14%) of the FDR showed the Gly 972 Arg variant in heterozygous form, 2 (1.3%) probands were homozygous. Carriers of the polymorphism did not differ in MCR independent of body weight and total body fat. The polymorphism does not seem to determine clamp-derived insulin sensitivity. Despite identical fasting plasma glucose, carriers of the polymorphism showed a slightly lower fasting serum insulin and lower insulin response to an oral glucose load but higher glucose concentrations. In an obese subgroup (BMI > 25) the polymorphism did not show a higher frequency and was not associated with lower insulin sensitivity. In the investigated group of young, healthy relatives of type 2 diabetes patients, the frequency of the mutation corresponded to that of a diabetic population. In summary our data show that the polymorphism is not suitable to predict insulin resistance.