Current Opinion


, Volume 58, Supplement 1, pp 7-10

First online:

General Characteristics of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Prevalence and Heritability
  • Henning Beck-NielsenAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital Email author 

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It has recently been recommended by a WHO expert committee that the insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors linked to insulin resistance, should be termed ‘the metabolic syndrome’. Characterisation with data from 2 large databases [the European Group for the study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR) and the Danish Twin Register] has shown that insulin resistance correlates closely with the various components of the metabolic syndrome, and that the prevalence of the syndrome is approximately 16% among Caucasians. Both genetically determined and environmentally induced insulin resistance may precipitate onset of the metabolic syndrome, and increased levels of abdominal fat may be of primary importance in its development.