Insulin resistance, defined as a reduced biological action of insulin, has emerged as a major factor in the development and progression of a number of common non-communicable diseases in man. The role of insulin resistance in the aetiology of type 2 diabetes is particularly well-established. However, insulin resistance has also come to be regarded as a key component of a broader syndrome of common metabolic defects that conspire to increase the risk of atherosclerotic coronary heart disease. The ramifications of insulin resistance now embrace many different medical specialties. This new book summarises the current state of knowledge on insulin resistance. Divided into three sections, the book first considers the development of current concepts of insulin resistance. This is followed by a critical review of techniques for the assessment of insulin action in humans. The section concludes with an outline of current hypotheses concerning the molecular defects responsible for insulin resistance.
Section 2, Insulin Resistance in Clinical Medicine, broadens the discussion to include physiological and pathological conditions with which insulin resistance is associated; the effects of drug treatment on insulin sensitivity are also considered. The final section, Management of Insulin Resistance and Associated Conditions, focuses on the avoidance and treatment of insulin resistance in its clinical manifestations. A discussion of the potential benefits of non-pharmacological measures prefaces a review of the range of drugs used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and related disorders. References are confined to key articles at the end of each section.