The relationship between glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and measures of insulin resistance across a range of glucose tolerance

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2011 Apr;71(2):168-72. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2010.547947. Epub 2011 Feb 25.


Aim: This study aimed to assess the correlation between HbA1c and insulin resistance as measured by a variety of different indices in subjects from across the glycaemic spectrum.

Methods: Subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT; n = 24), impaired fasting glucose (IFG; n = 12), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; n = 12), and type 2 diabetes (DM; n = 13) were studied. All had specimens taken in the context of a standard oral glucose tolerance test at their first visit and had the insulin sensitivity parameter (Si) determined by frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test at a second visit.

Results: HbA1c was more strongly associated with Si in NGT (r = - 0.65) than in IFG (r = - 0.48). Compared to other indices of insulin resistance HbA1c has minimal overlap in values (0.0%) between NGT and subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Conclusions: HbA1c can be used as a simple and reliable marker of insulin resistance in NGT adults with relatively high insulin sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A