The insulin resistant state is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. This increased risk is likely to be due to associated lipid and coagulation abnormalities rather than just abnormalities in glucose metabolism or hyperinsulinaemia alone. Exaggerated postprandial lipaemia is a well-recognised associate of insulin resistance and postprandial hypertriglyceridaemia is particularly important in the development of coronary atheroma. It seems likely that insulin is one of the hormonal regulators of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle blood flow. The reduced blood flow and blunting of the postprandial rise of peripheral blood flow in insulin resistance may decrease chylomicron-triglyceride delivery to muscle in subjects with insulin resistance. This, in turn, will lead to increased production of atherogenic particles. We propose that impaired postprandial vasodilation, already recognised as a key feature of glucose intolerance, is also the cause of impaired lipid metabolism in insulin resistant subjects and predisposes them to cardiovascular disease.
- Coronary artery disease
- Insulin resistance
- Postprandial tissue blood flow