Risk Factors for Progression to Incident Hyperinsulinemia: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, 1987-1998

Mercedes R. Carnethon*, Stephen P. Fortmann, Latha Palaniappan, Bruce B. Duncan, Maria I. Schmidt, Lloyd E. Chambless

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Hyperinsulinemia is a marker of insulin resistance, a correlate of the metabolic syndrome, and an established precursor of type 2 diabetes. This US study investigated the role of risk factors associated with hyperinsulinemia in cross-sectional studies in progression to incident hyperinsulinemia. Nondiabetic participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (n = 9,020) were followed from 1987 to 1998 for the development of hyperinsulinemia (fasting serum insulin ≥90th percentile, 19.1 μU/ml). After adjustment for demographic characteristics, all risk factors simultaneously, and baseline insulin value, the risk of progressing to hyperinsulinemia increased per standard deviation increase in baseline uric acid (odds ratio (OR) = 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2, 1.4; per 1.4 mg/dl) and waist/hip ratio (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2, 1.5; per 0.08) and was inversely associated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR = 0.8, 95% CI: 0.7, 0.9; per 0.4 mmol/liter). Starting to smoke (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.0) and becoming obese (OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.8, 3.1) during the study were also associated with increased risk. The associations were similar across race and gender groups. These data suggest that, in addition to weight gain, hyperuricemia, dyslipidemia, and smoking can be detected prior to development of hyperinsulinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1067
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Diabetes, non-insulin-dependent
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Insulin resistance
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Metabolic syndrome X
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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