BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Few studies have assessed post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance and ischemic stroke risk, and data are sparse for older adults. We investigated whether fasting and post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance were related to incident ischemic stroke in nondiabetic, older adults.
METHODS: Participants were men and women in the Cardiovascular Health Study, age 65+ years and without prevalent diabetes or stroke at baseline, followed for 17 years for incident ischemic stroke. The Gutt insulin sensitivity index was calculated from baseline body weight and from fasting and 2-hour postload insulin and glucose; a lower Gutt index indicates higher insulin resistance.
RESULTS: Analyses included 3442 participants (42% men) with a mean age of 73 years. Incidence of ischemic stroke was 9.8 strokes per 1000 person-years. The relative risk (RR) for lowest quartile versus highest quartile of Gutt index was 1.64 (95% CI, 1.24-2.16), adjusted for demographics and prevalent cardiovascular and kidney disease. Similarly, the adjusted RR for highest quartile versus lowest quartile of 2-hour glucose was 1.84 (95% CI, 1.39-2.42). In contrast, the adjusted RR for highest quartile versus lowest quartile of fasting insulin was 1.10 (95% CI, 0.84-1.46).
CONCLUSIONS: In nondiabetic, older adults, insulin resistance measured by Gutt index or 2-hour glucose, but not by fasting insulin, was associated with risk of incident ischemic stroke.
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