In nondiabetic healthy individuals, insulin secretion and sensitivity are linked by a negative feedback loop characterized by a hyperbolic function. We aimed to study the association of traditional insulin resistance (IR) factors with insulin secretion and sensitivity, and to determine whether the hyperbolic equilibrium of this relation is preserved in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
This was a cross-sectional study encompassing 361 nondiabetic individuals: 151 with RA and 210 controls. Insulin, C-peptide, and IR indices by homeostatic model (HOMA2) were assessed. A multivariable analysis was performed to evaluate the differences in the correlation of traditional IR-related factors with glucose homeostasis molecules, as well as IR indices between patients and controls. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to assess the hyperbolic relation of insulin sensitivity and secretion.
HOMA2-IR indices were higher in patients with RA than controls. Hepatic insulin extraction, as assessed by the insulin:C-peptide molar ratio, was lower in patients with RA after multivariable analysis (0.08 ± 0.02 vs 0.14 ± 0.07, p < 0.001). Traditional IR-related factors showed significantly lower adjusted correlation coefficients with IR indices in patients with RA. The association between insulin sensitivity and secretion showed a different hyperbolic relation in patients with RA: the variability explained by the curve was lower in RA (nonlinear r2 = 0.845 vs r2 = 0.928, p = 0.001) and ? coefficients (-0.74, 95% CI -0.77 to -0.70 vs -1.09, 95% CI -1.17 to -1.02, ng/ml, p < 0.001) were different in RA.
The traditional factors associated with IR in healthy individuals are less related to IR in patients with RA. Insulin sensitivity and secretion yield a different hyperbolic equilibrium in RA.
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