The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of body mass index (BMI) with insulin resistance and β-cell function in subjects with normal glucose tolerance. A cross-sectional study was carried out in Fujian province by multistratified sampling from July 2007 to May 2008. The sample consisted of 2931 subjects aged from 20 to 79 years. The questionnaires, physical examinations, and laboratory tests were obtained from all the participants. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was used to estimate insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion was assessed using the HOMA-β index, and β-cell function was quantified as the ratio of the incremental insulin to glucose responses over the first 30 minutes during the oral glucose tolerance test (ΔI30/ΔG30). Another measure was adjusted for insulin sensitivity as it modulates β-cell function ([ΔI30/ΔG30]/HOMA-IR). Associations of BMI with morbidities were estimated using multiple logistic regression analysis. Relationships of BMI to insulin resistance and β-cell function were assessed using multiple linear regression analysis and analysis of covariance. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of overweight and obesity was 23.04% (27.44% in men and 18.40% in women) and 2.65% (2.75% in men and 2.55% in women), respectively. After adjustment for covariables, BMI was independently associated with morbidity conditions; and there were increasing trend for odds ratios of morbidities across the BMI categories. There were independent differences for HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, and ΔI30/ΔG30 between the normal-weight, overweight, and obese groups except for (ΔI30/ΔG30)/HOMA-IR. Body mass index was significantly and independently associated with HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, and ΔI30/ΔG30 in the multiple linear regression analysis. Body mass index was an independent risk factor for hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, as well as the indexes of insulin resistance and β-cell function. It is imperative that the whole society pay more attention to the identification and intervention of overweight and obesity to prevent obesity-related diseases at the very early stage.
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