To examine the clinical significance of the insulin resistance index as determined by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR), we investigated the relationship between HOMA-IR and the insulin resistance estimated by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp method in various subgroups and compared the significance of HOMA-IR with that of fasting plasma insulin levels (FIRI). HOMA-IR was significantly correlated to the inverse of the glucose infusion rate (1/GIR) in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects (r=0.747, P<0.0001 and r=0.419, P<0.002, respectively). In the diabetic patients, treatment with sulfonylureas did not weaken this correlation (r=0.833, P<0.0001). HOMA-IR was found to be closely related to FIRI (r=0.932, P<0.0001), but HOMA-IR was more closely associated with 1/GIR than FIRI was. HOMA-IR as well as 1/GIR was correlated with the visceral fat area (VFA) more closely than with the subcutaneous fat area (SFA), while FIRI was correlated almost equally with both of them. In conclusion, HOMA-IR is a convenient and beneficial method for evaluating insulin resistance, especially in subjects with visceral fat accumulation, and reflects insulin resistance obtained by euglycemic clamp more accurately than FIRI alone.