Insulin sensitivity indices: a proposal of cut-off points for simple identification of insulin-resistant subjects

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2006 May;114(5):249-56. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-924233.


Demanding measurement of insulin sensitivity using clamp methods does not simplify the identification of insulin resistant subjects in the general population. Other approaches such as fasting- or oral glucose tolerance test-derived insulin sensitivity indices were proposed and validated with the euglycemic clamp. Nevertheless, a lack of reference values for these indices prevents their wider use in epidemiological studies and clinical practice. The aim of our study was therefore to define the cut-off points of insulin resistance indices as well as the ranges of the most frequently obtained values for selected indices. A standard 75 g oral glucose tolerance test was carried out in 1156 subjects from a Caucasian rural population with no previous evidence of diabetes or other dysglycemias. Insulin resistance/sensitivity indices (HOMA-IR, HOMA-IR2, ISI Cederholm, and ISI Matsuda) were calculated. The 75th percentile value as the cut-off point to define IR corresponded with a HOMA-IR of 2.29, a HOMA-IR2 of 1.21, a 25th percentile for ISI Cederholm, and ISI Matsuda of 57 and 5.0, respectively. For the first time, the cut-off points for selected indices and their most frequently obtained values were established for groups of subjects as defined by glucose homeostasis and BMI. Thus, insulin-resistant subjects can be identified using this simple approach.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values*
  • Research Design*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin