The cardiovascular risk factor plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) has been associated with abdominal obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, and type II diabetes, conditions known to be linked with insulin resistance. To determine whether PAI-1 is related to insulin resistance, we studied nine obese nondiabetics and 10 obese type II diabetics by means of a sequential hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp study. Plasma PAI-1 antigen (Ag) correlated significantly with peripheral insulin resistance, represented by the insulin level at which peripheral glucose uptake (PGU) is half-maximal ([ED50PGU] r = .87, P < .001). Multiple regression analysis including indices of hepatic and peripheral insulin action, fasting plasma insulin levels, triglyceride levels, blood pressure (BP), waist to hip ratio (WHR), and body mass index (BMI) disclosed ED50PGU to account for 76% of the variance of PAI-1 Ag. We suggest that PAI-1 contributes to the increased cardiovascular risk encountered with insulin resistance.