Age-related Insulin Resistance and Predisposition to Diabetes

Daniel Tessier, MD, FRCPC, Professor, Head of Geriatric Service, Sherbrooke Geriatric University Institute, Sherbrooke University, Sherbrooke, QC.

The concept of insulin resistance is a major field of interest in the medical literature. The basic science research has significantly increased our knowledge of this phenomenon, which has become a silent killer in our society. The main factors involved in insulin resistance are obesity (mainly abdominal), lack of physical activity, loss of muscle mass and secondary diminution in insulin action followed by diabetes mellitus. The changes in lifestyle and diet observed in many older subjects increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. This paper will underline the main elements for primary and secondary prevention of insulin resistance in older adults.
Key words: insulin resistance, older adults, diabetes mellitus, obesity, free fatty acid, pharmacotherapy.