Plasma Aldosterone Levels and Development of Insulin Resistance: Prospective Study in a General Population

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Aldosterone plays a role in hypertension, and hypertension is prevalent in patients with insulin resistance. Cross-sectional studies have reported that plasma aldosterone levels are higher in patients with insulin resistance. However, it is not known whether plasma aldosterone levels predict the development of insulin resistance. Subjects of the present study were 1235 local residents (490 men and 745 women) who participated in health screenings in Japan in 1999. Plasma aldosterone levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. We investigated the cross-sectional relationship between plasma aldosterone levels and insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment index ≥1.73 according to the diagnostic criteria used in Japan) in 1088 nondiabetic participants. At the 10-year follow-up, 141 subjects had died, and 260 subjects refused re-examination. We performed a prospective analysis of 564 subjects to predict incident insulin resistance. We found a significant (P<0.001) cross-sectional relationship between plasma aldosterone and homeostasis model assessment index at baseline. In the prospective analysis, a significantly higher (P<0.05) relative risk (1.71 [95% CI: 1.03–2.84]) was observed in the highest tertile versus lowest tertile of plasma aldosterone for the development of insulin resistance, after adjustment for confounding factors. This 10-year prospective study demonstrated that plasma aldosterone levels predicted the development of insulin resistance in a general population.

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