To study the pathophysiological importance of changes in insulin sensitivity and islet function over time for alterations in glucose tolerance in a randomly selected large group of non-diabetic women aged 57-59 years over a 3-year period.
At baseline and at the 3-year follow-up, glucose tolerance (WHO 75 g oral glucose), insulin sensitivity (euglycaemic, hyperinsulinaemic clamp) and insulin and glucagon secretion (2 to 5-min responses to 5 g i.v. arginine at fasting, 14 and > 25 mmol/l glucose) were measured.
At baseline, women with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT, n = 28) had lower insulin sensitivity (p = 0.048) than normal women (NGT, n = 58). The arginine-induced insulin responses (AIR) were inversely associated with insulin sensitivity (r > or = -0.55, p