IGF-I has an almost 50% amino acid sequence homology with insulin and elicits nearly the same hypoglycemic response. Studies showed that low and high IGF-I levels are related to impaired glucose tolerance and to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the association between IGF-I level and insulin resistance in a Danish general population.
Included were 3,354 adults, aged 19–72 years, from the cross-sectional Health2006 study. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was used as the index to estimate insulin resistance. Serum IGF-I levels were determined by an immunoassay and grouped into quintiles (Q1–Q5). Linear or multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed.
In the study population, 520 subjects (15.5%) had increased HOMA-IR values above 2.5. After adjustment for age, sex, physical activity, and waist-to-height ratio, a U-shaped association between IGF-I and HOMA-IR was found. Low IGF-I (Q1: odds ratio [OR] 1.65 [95% CI 1.16–2.34], P < 0.01) as well as high IGF-I (Q5: 1.96 [1.38–2.79], P < 0.01) levels were related to a higher odds of increased HOMA-IR values compared with subjects with intermediate (Q3) IGF-I levels. These associations remained statistically significant after the exclusion of subjects with type 2 diabetes and by using the updated computer HOMA2-IR model.