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Insulin Resistance Linked to Platelet Activation

Can be improved by weight loss, drugs to improve insulin sensitivity in obese women

THURSDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin resistance in obese women is associated with high platelet activation, which can be improved by weight loss or drug treatment to improve insulin sensitivity, researchers report in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Giovanni Davi, M.D., from the University of Chieti in Italy, and colleagues investigated whether insulin resistance contributes to increased platelet activation independent of underlying inflammation in 40 obese women and 20 non-obese healthy women.

The researchers found that the waist-to-hip ratio and insulin sensitivity index predicted the 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2 excretion rate (a marker of platelet activation) independently of CD40 ligand, lipid patterns, adiponectin and C-reactive protein.

After a 12-week weight-loss program, the five subjects who succeeded in losing weight had a 92 percent improvement in the insulin sensitivity index, and decreases of 27 percent, 37 percent and 53 percent in CD40 ligand, C-reactive protein and urinary 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2, respectively. Treatment with pioglitazone to improve insulin sensitivity also led to a 43 percent decrease in urinary 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2 while maintaining body weight.

"Insulin resistance is a major determinant of platelet activation in female obesity," Davi and colleagues conclude.

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