The aim of the present study was to evaluate the recently defined simple insulin sensitivity check index QUICKI (Katz et al. 2000) for insulin resistance diagnostics in common clinical and epidemiological practice. Both the QUICKI (1/log insulin + log glycemia in mg/dL) and HOMA (insulin * glycemia in micromol/L/22.5) indexes were calculated from fasting values in 259 adult healthy volunteers and patients, and in 47 healthy and obese children of prepubertal age of both sexes. In adults, a fall in the QUICKI index (mean +/- SEM in healthy subjects = 0.366 +/- 0.029) as well as an increase in the HOMA index (in healthy subjects 1.57 +/- 0.87) corresponded to metabolic and clinical manifestations of insulin resistance in various groups of outpatients. The QUICKI index had lower dispersion variances and the 95% confidence limits displayed a higher discrimination capacity. Patients with glucose intolerance or diabetes, hyperlipidemia typical for insulin resistance, or with combination of these metabolic disorders were characterized by QUICKI index values that were significantly lower than those of healthy volunteers. The QUICKI index in healthy prepubertal children indicated a higher insulin resistance compared to adults (mean 0.339 +/- 0.020); an increase in the QUICKI index in obese children with BMI over 25 was not significant, although obese children showed a significant increase of serum leptin and triglycerides and a decrease of HDL-cholesterol. Adult patients with QUICKI index below 0.357 (which is at the lower limit of 95% confidence limits in healthy persons) represented a group with typical manifestations of metabolic syndrome, differing in these parameters significantly from the group of patients of comparable age with a QUICKI index greater than 0.357. The present study suggests suitability of the QUICKI index for diagnosis of insulin resistance in clinical and epidemiological practice. However, a normal QUICKI index range needs to be established for each laboratory with an appropriate control group because of significant interlaboratory variations in insulin determinations and/or possible differences in various populations.