Aging Affects Insulin Resistance, Insulin Secretion, and Glucose Effectiveness in Subjects with Normal Blood Glucose and Body Weight

Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Jun 24;13(13):2158. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics13132158.


Aim: Several studies have demonstrated that factors including diabetes, including insulin resistance (IR), glucose effectiveness (GE), and the first and second phase of insulin secretion (FPIS, SPIS) could easily be calculated using basic characteristics and biochemistry profiles. Aging is accompanied by deteriorations of insulin resistance (IR) and insulin secretion. However, little is known about the roles of aging in the different phases of insulin secretion (ISEC), i.e., the first and second phase of insulin secretion (FPIS, SPIS), and glucose effectiveness (GE).

Methods: In total, 169 individuals (43 men and 126 women) recruited from the data bank of the Meei-Jaw (MJ) Health Screening Center and Cardinal Tien Hospital Data Access Center between 1999 and 2008, with a similar fasting plasma glucose (FPG: 90 mg/dL) and BMI (men: 23 kg/m2, women 22 kg/m2) were enrolled. The IR, FPIS, SPIS, and GE were estimated using our previously developed equations shown below. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to assess the correlations between age and four diabetes factors (DFs: IR, FPIS, SPIS, and GE). The equations that are used to calculate the DF in the present study were built and published by our group.

Results: The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 78 years. Men had higher FPIS but lower HDL-C levels than women (2.067 ± 0.159, 1.950 ± 0.186 μU/min and 1.130 ± 0.306, 1.348 ± 0.357 mmol/dl, accordingly). The results of the Pearson correlation revealed that age was negatively related to the IR and GE in both genders (IR: r = -0.39, p < 0.001 for men, r = -0.24, p < 0.003 for women; GE: r = 0.66, p < 0.001 for men, r = 0.78, p < 0.001 for women). At the same time, the FPIS was also only found to be negatively correlated with age in females (r = -0.238, p = 0.003), but there was no difference in the SPIS and age among both genders.

Conclusions: We have found that in Chinese subjects with a normal FPG level (90 mg/dL) and body mass index (men: 23 kg/m2, women: 22: kg/m2), age is negatively related to the IR and GE among both genders. Only the FPIS was found to be negatively related to age in women. The tightness of their relationships, from the highest to the lowest, are GE, FPIS, and IR. These results should be interpreted with caution because of the small sample size.

Keywords: first-phase insulin secretion; glucose effectiveness; insulin resistance; second-phase insulin secretion; type 2 diabetes.