Insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease

Constantine E. Kosmas, Maria D. Bousvarou, Christina E. Kostara, Evangelia J. Papakonstantinou, Evdokia Salamou, Eliscer Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Insulin resistance (IR) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) represent two universal public health hazards, especially in today’s Western societies. A causal-effect relationship has been established that links IR with CVD. The mediating mechanisms are perplexing, under ongoing, rigorous investigation and remain to be fully elucidated. IR is a condition encompassing hyperglycemia and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. It occurs when insulin is not capable of exerting its maximum effects on target tissues, including skeletal muscles, liver and adipose tissue. This alteration of insulin signaling pathways results in the development of cardiometabolic disorders, including obesity, dyslipidemia, low-grade inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and hypertension, all of which are predisposing factors for atherosclerosis and CVD. The management of IR can be achieved through dietary modifications, the inclusion of regular exercise routines in everyday life, pharmacological agents and other interventions tailored to each individual patient’s needs. It is important to underline though that, although various antidiabetic drugs that may improve IR are available, no medications are as yet specifically approved for the treatment of IR. This narrative review will focus on the current scientific and clinical evidence pertaining to IR, the mechanisms connecting IR with CVD, as well as plausible strategies for a holistic, personalized approach for IR management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Insulin
  • cardiovascular disease
  • dyslipidemia
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • hypertension
  • inflammation
  • insulin resistance
  • oxidative stress


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