Association of insulin sensitivity to lipids across the lifespan in people with Type 1 diabetes

Diabet Med. 2011 Feb;28(2):148-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03143.x.


Aims: Insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia both increase cardiovascular risk in Type 1 diabetes. However, little data exist on the associations of insulin resistance to lipids in Type 1 diabetes. Our objective was to explore the associations between insulin resistance (assessed by glucose infusion rate) and lipids in people with Type 1 diabetes and determine whether adiposity and/or average glycaemia influence these associations.

Methods: Hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp studies were performed in 60 subjects with Type 1 diabetes aged 12-19 years (age 15±2 years, 57% female, duration of diabetes 6.3±3.8 years, HbA(1c) 8.6±1.5%, IFCC=70 mmol/mol) and 40 subjects with Type 1 diabetes aged 27-61 years (age 45±9 years, 53% female, duration of diabetes 23±8 years, HbA(1c) 7.5±0.9%, IFCC=58 mmol/mol). Multiple linear regression models were fit to examine the association between glucose infusion rate and fasting lipid levels with adjustment for possible confounders.

Results: Lower glucose infusion rate was significantly associated with lower levels of HDL cholesterol in youths with Type 1 diabetes and with higher levels of triglycerides and higher triglyceride/HDL ratio in both youths and adults. The magnitude of the associations between glucose infusion rate and lipid levels translate into interquartile differences of 0.098 mmol/l for HDL cholesterol, 0.17 mmol/l for triglycerides and 1.06 for triglycerides/HDL in the adolescents and 0.20 mmol/l for triglycerides and 1.01 for triglycerides/HDL in the adults. The associations were attenuated and no longer statistically significant by adjustment for adiposity among adults, while adjustment for HbA(1c) had a small effect in youths and adults.

Conclusions: Lower insulin sensitivity is associated with a more atherogenic lipid profile in both youths and adults with Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / metabolism
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / mortality
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides