To determine the prevalence of hyperinsulinaemia in non-diabetic hypertensive subjects and to investigate the validity of a simple test for the detection of insulin resistance/hyperinsulinaemia. The test consisted of five markers: (1) obesity (body-mass index, BMI > or =30 kg/m2); (2) central adiposity (waist-to-hip ratio, WHR > or =1.00 in men and > or =0.88 in women); (3) hypertriglyceridaemia (> or =1.70 mmol/l); (4) low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ( or =13.0 mU/l and > or =18.0 mU/l).
Hyperinsulinaemia > or =13.0 mU/l was present in 45% of hypertensive men and in 25% of hypertensive women. The sex difference was statistically significant (P or =18.0 mU/l were 18% and 16%. The sensitivity of the test for hyperinsulinaemia > or =13.0 mU/l was 77% and specificity 73% in men, and 100% and 70% in women. The corresponding figures for hyperinsulinaemia > or =18.0 mU/l were 94% and 60% in men, and 100% and 63% in women.
Our results suggest that hyperinsulinaemia/insulin resistance in hypertensives becomes identifiable by using simple measurements of BMI, WHR, serum triglycerides and HDL cholesterol as well as the oral glucose tolerance test as means.