Association between proinsulin, insulin, proinsulin/insulin ratio, and insulin resistance status with the metabolic syndrome

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2007 Oct;51(7):1128-33. doi: 10.1590/s0004-27302007000700016.


The Metabolic Syndrome (MS) constitutes an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease. There is evidence that proinsulin blood levels and the proinsulin/insulin ratio are associated to the MS. The purpose of this study was to compare proinsulin and insulin, insulin resistance index, and the proinsulin/insulin ratio as predictors of MS. This is a cross-sectional study involving 440 men and 556 women with a mean age of 24 years. Diagnosis of MS was made according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. Blood levels of insulin and proinsulin were measured, and the insulin resistance status was estimated using the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR). The prevalence of MS was 10.1%. HOMA-IR was the best MS risk factor for both women and men (OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.68-2.48 and 1.09; 95% CI: 1.05-1.13, respectively). HOMA-IR presented the best positive predictive value for MS: 22% and 36% for men and women, respectively, and was the best MS indicator. The proinsulin/insulin ratio did not show significant association with MS. HOMA-IR, proinsulin, and insulin presented good negative predictive values for both genders that could be used to identify an at-risk population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Chile
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Proinsulin / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Proinsulin