Targeting cardiovascular risk: Early identification of insulin resistance

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To review current data regarding the known pathophysiology of insulin resistance and its associated sequelae related to cardiovascular risk, to discuss the current measures for insulin sensitivity and studies associated with measures of insulin resistance, and to summarize the impact of insulin resistance.

Data sources

CINAHL, Health and Wellness Resource Center, and Medline.


Insulin resistance yields a diminished sensitivity of key target cells to the actions of insulin and is present early in the course of insulin resistance syndrome, also known as metabolic syndrome, leading to prediabetes and cardiovascular disease approximately 10 years before the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Implications for practice

Early identification of insulin-resistant individuals would allow extra time for preventive measures and may alter the progression of the development of associated cardiovascular risk. A recommendation for a treatment plan of identified insulin-resistant individuals is provided.

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