Heart rate in relation to insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in nondiabetic subjects

Diabetes Care. 2000 May;23(5):624-8. doi: 10.2337/diacare.23.5.624.


Objective: Elevated heart rate has been predictive of cardiovascular disease and has been proposed as a global index of the autonomic nervous system influence on the heart. Hyperinsulinism has been shown to trigger sympathetic activity experimentally; however, the clinical and epidemiological data on the association of heart rate with hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance are conflicting.

Research design and methods: Insulin sensitivity (S(I)) and the acute insulin response (AIR) to glucose were assessed by a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test and related to resting heart rate in the tri-ethnic nondiabetic population (n = 1,000) of the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study.

Results: Heart rate was related to fasting insulin (r = 0.20), intact proinsulin (r = 0.15), split proinsulin (r = 0.17), and AIR (r = 0.18), and an inverse relation was found between heart rate and S(I) (r = -0.19) (all P values <0.0001, adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, glucose tolerance status, and smoking). In a multiple linear regression analysis (adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, clinical center, glucose tolerance status, and smoking), heart rate was significantly and independently associated with AIR, proinsulin, and S(I).

Conclusions: Proinsulin, acute insulin secretion, and S(I) are associated with heart rate in nondiabetic subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged