Relation of adipose tissue insulin resistance to prediabetes



The degree of adipose tissue insulin resistance increases in obesity, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, but whether it associates with prediabetes is unclear.


This is a cross-sectional study of 426 participants. The degree of adipose tissue insulin resistance was assessed using the index of adipose tissue insulin resistance (Adipo-IRI), calculated as the product of fasting insulin and free fatty acids. The association of adipose tissue insulin resistance and prediabetes was assessed by multivariate logistic regression. Area under curves (AUCs) of receiver operating characteristic cure analyses were calculated to assess their diagnostic value in distinguishing prediabetes of the following: insulin resistance in the adipose tissue and peripheral tissue, general and abdominal obesity, and elevated triglycerides.


The median age of the participants was 59 years with males accounting for 47.7%. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, Adipo-IRI was associated with prediabetes and its phenotypes in both genders. The diagnostic value of adipose tissue insulin resistance (AUC, male: 0.71 (95% CI, 0.65–0.77) and female: 0.74 (95% CI, 0.68–0.95)) for prediabetes were superior or similar to peripheral tissue insulin resistance, body mass index, waist circumference and triglycerides.


Adipose tissue insulin resistance is associated with prediabetes and should be considered for use in population studies.

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All authors appreciate the efforts of all participants who contributed to sample measurements and data collection.


This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31672375, 81971091), Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals (QML20190501), and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (2017YFC1310902, 2018YFC1311700, and 2018YFC1311706).

Author contributions

Each author has been involved in and contributed to this paper. JW and XC carried out the statistical analyses and drafted the paper. They contributed equally to this study and share first authorship. JJ, GL and MW participated in the data analysis. JZ and WL participated in the literature search. XC and YP participated in the data collection, study management and study coordination. HYG and YP contributed to editing the paper to correct English. YH and YP contributed to the study design and review of this paper. All authors read and approved the final paper.

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Correspondence to Yuesong Pan or Yan He.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Committee on Human Research of Lishui Central Hospital, and all procedures were performed in accordance with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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The study methods and potential risks were fully explained to all participants, and each participant provided a written informed consent prior to enrollment.

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Wen, J., Cai, X., Zhang, J. et al. Relation of adipose tissue insulin resistance to prediabetes. Endocrine (2020) doi:10.1007/s12020-020-02186-8

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  • Adipose tissue insulin resistance
  • Prediabetes
  • Association
  • Diagnostic value
  • Indicator