An association between affective disorders and alterations in glucose utilization has been recognized. The authors administered a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test (GTT) to 28 depressed patients and 21 healthy volunteer control subjects and measured serum glucose as well as plasma insulin and glucagon responses. Depressed patients demonstrated significantly higher basal glucose levels, greater cumulative glucose responses after the GTT, and larger cumulative insulin responses after the GTT than control subjects. Values for cumulative glucagon did not significantly differ between groups. These findings indicate the presence of a functional state of insulin resistance during major depressive illness and suggest the presence of a more generalized biological disturbance in some depressed patients.