Insulin resistance, incident cardiovascular diseases, and decreased kidney function among nondiabetic American Indians: the Strong Heart Study

Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct;36(10):3195-200. doi: 10.2337/dc12-2368. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Objective: Prevalence of insulin resistance is high in the American Indian population, likely as a result of the high prevalence of obesity. This condition may be influential for clinical outcomes such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and decreased kidney function.

Research design and methods: Normal glucose tolerant (NGT) participants free of hypertension and CVD at the baseline examination (1989-1992) (N=964) of the Strong Heart Study were selected to explore the cross-sectional association between insulin resistance quantified by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and demographic, behavioral, and cardiometabolic variables. The longitudinal association between baseline HOMA-IR and the development of CVD was also explored. The longitudinal association between baseline HOMA-IR and the development of high urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio was explored among nondiabetic participants (N=1,401).

Results: Cross-sectionally, HOMA-IR was associated with sex, residence location, smoking, and high-risk cardiometabolic profile. Prospectively, insulin resistance is associated with the development of CVD and decreased kidney function in this population.

Conclusions: Insulin resistance may have an important role in the pathogenesis of CVD and chronic kidney disease. Since obesity contributes to the development of insulin resistance, intervention focusing on modifiable factors such as physical activity and weight control may reduce the development of these diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models