Objective: Insulin resistance (IR), a reduced physiological response of peripheral tissues to the action of insulin, is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes. We sought to evaluate the relationship between serum C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and prevalence of IR among Peruvian adults.
Methods: This population based study of 1,525 individuals (569 men and 956 women; mean age 39 years old) was conducted among residents in Lima and Callao, Peru. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, and CRP concentrations were measured using standard approaches. Insulin resistance was assessed using the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR). Categories of CRP were defined by the following tertiles: <0.81 mg/l, 0.81-2.53 mg/l, and >2.53 mg/l. Logistic regression procedures were employed to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: Elevated CRP were significantly associated with increased mean fasting insulin and mean HOMA-IR concentrations (p < 0.001). Women with CRP concentration >2.53 mg/l (upper tertile) had a 2.18-fold increased risk of IR (OR = 2.18 95% CI 1.51-3.16) as compared with those in the lowest tertile (<0.81 mg/l). Among men, those in the upper tertile had a 2.54-fold increased risk of IR (OR = 2.54 95% CI 1.54-4.20) as compared with those in the lowest tertile.
Conclusion: Our observations among Peruvians suggest that chronic systemic inflammation, as evidenced by elevated CRP, may be of etiologic importance in insulin resistance and diabetes.