Insulin resistance in early untreated rheumatoid arthritis patients

Clin Biochem. 2010 May;43(7-8):661-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Feb 6.


Objectives: To assess insulin resistance in early untreated rheumatoid arthritis patients and its relation to the clinical, inflammatory and biochemical characteristics of these patients.

Patients and methods: Sixty-six untreated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with disease duration less than 1 year along with age and sex matched controls were studied. Disease activity score (DAS28) was used to assess disease activity. Plasma levels of C- reactive protein (CRP), glucose, insulin and complete lipid profile were measured. Insulin resistance (IR) was estimated by the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

Results: RA patients revealed high grade systemic inflammation compared to control group p<0.0001. Patients with high disease activity were more insulin resistant than patients with moderate disease activity P<0.0001.

Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that early untreated RA patients are characterized by a severe insulin resistant state that is driven primarily by disease activity and systemic inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • C-Reactive Protein