Insulin Resistance Linked to Peripheral Arterial Disease

Insulin resistance also weakens relationship between inflammation markers and peripheral arterial disease

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin resistance is strongly associated with peripheral arterial disease, and modifies the relationship between markers of inflammation and peripheral arterial disease, according to research published online June 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Reena L. Pande, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues evaluated a nationally representative sample population, using data from 3,242 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2004. Patients were evaluated for peripheral arterial disease using the ankle brachial index (positive diagnosis is an ankle brachial index less than or equal to 0.9). Overall prevalence of peripheral arterial disease was 5.5 percent.

Study subjects with a C-reactive protein (CRP) level greater than 3 mg/L were found to be far more likely to have peripheral arterial disease, however, this association was weakened in the presence of insulin resistance. The researchers found that in insulin-resistant subjects, CRP levels were no longer predictive of greater prevalence of peripheral arterial disease and those with insulin resistance were more likely to have peripheral arterial disease, even if their CRP was low, compared with people with low CRP without insulin resistance.

"These data establish a role of insulin resistance in peripheral arterial disease and suggest that future studies are warranted to better understand the complex interplay of inflammation and insulin resistance in peripheral arterial disease," the authors conclude.

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