Are hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL causal factors in the development of insulin resistance?

Atherosclerosis. 2014 Mar;233(1):130-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.12.013. Epub 2014 Jan 7.


Insulin resistance often occurs with dyslipidemia as part of the metabolic syndrome and the current dominant paradigm is that insulin resistance leads to dyslipidemia. However, dyslipidemia may also cause insulin resistance; this was postulated 30 years ago, but has never been substantiated. Establishing whether dyslipidemia plays a causal role in the etiology of insulin resistance is important since it could reveal new avenues for combating type 2 diabetes. In this review we summarize recent evidence from epidemiological, genetic and intervention studies to re-address this old hypothesis.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia; HDL-cholesterol; Insulin resistance; Triglycerides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Dyslipidemias / complications
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors