Arterial stiffness is strongly associated with insulin resistance in Chinese--a population-based study (Taichung Community Health Study, TCHS)

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011;18(2):122-30. doi: 10.5551/jat.5686. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


Aim: Few studies have investigated the association between insulin resistance and arterial stiffness in Chinese. We aimed to investigate this relationship in a population-based study of middle-aged Chinese.

Methods: A total of 2,188 subjects aged 40 years and older were recruited in 2004 in Taiwan. The association between arterial stiffness (measured by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV)) and insulin resistance (represented by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and fasting glucose levels) was studied by multiple logistic and linear regression analyses.

Results: The respective prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) was 13.9% and 30.6% in males and 10.4% and 20.8% in females. Using multiple linear regression analyses, we found baPWV to be strongly associated with age, gender, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, fasting glucose, and triglycerides. Compared to the lowest HOMA-IR tertile I and adjusting for age, BMI, WC, gender, triglycerides, systolic BP, diastolic BP, smoking, alcohol drinking, betel nut chewing, and physical activity, the odds ratios (95% confidence interval) of arterial stiffness for the higher HOMA-IR tertiles II and III were 1.15 (0.77-1.71) and 1.60 (1.05-2.46), respectively. Using a general linear model with adjustment for age, systolic BP, diastolic BP, BMI, WC, and triglycerides, baPWV was significantly lower in the diabetic group by 90.3 cm/sec in males and 100.5 cm/sec in females compared to the IFG group. When comparing the IFG group to the normal glucose group, baPWV was 28.5 cm/sec lower in males and 14.4 cm/sec lower in females.

Conclusions: Arterial stiffness is independently associated with insulin resistance in Chinese middle-aged adults. Subjects with diabetes or IFG have higher baPWV than normoglycemic subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Asians
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Taiwan
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology


  • Blood Glucose