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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Apr;95(4):1986-90. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-2521. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

Aldosterone production and insulin resistance in healthy adults.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



Aldosterone production is associated with insulin resistance in obese and hypertensive subjects. However, its effect on insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects is not clear.


The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased aldosterone production is associated with lower insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects.


This is an analysis of data previously collected during studies conducted as part of the International Hypertensive Pathotype Consortium.


Eighty-four subjects free of any medical or psychiatric illness were included in this study. They were studied after 7 d of a standardized high-sodium diet confirmed by 24-h urine sodium above 200 mEq. Insulin sensitivity index (ISI) was calculated after a 75-g oral glucose load with glucose and insulin measurements at 0, 30, 60, and 120 min. Serum aldosterone levels were measured after 45 min of angiotensin II (3 ng/kg/min) infusion.


There were significant negative correlations between ISI and age, body mass index (BMI), diastolic blood pressure, and angiotensin II-stimulated aldosterone level (P < 0.01). On multivariate regression analysis, stimulated aldosterone level was an independent predictor of ISI after adjusting for age, BMI, and diastolic blood pressure. Stimulated aldosterone level predicted 8% of the variance in ISI (P = 0.003) with age, BMI, and diastolic blood pressure together predicting 23% of the variance in ISI. Thus, the final regression model predicted 31% of the variance in ISI (P < 0.0001).


Aldosterone production is associated with insulin resistance in normotensive healthy subjects independent of traditional risk factors.

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