Both insulin resistance (IR) and decreased insulin secretion have been shown to predict the development of NIDDM. However, methods to assess insulin sensitivity and secretion are complicated and expensive to apply in epidemiological studies. The homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) has been suggested as a method to assess IR and secretion from the fasting glucose and insulin concentrations.
We applied the HOMA model in the 3.5-year follow-up of the Mexico City Diabetes Study.
Out of 1,449 subjects, 97 developed diabetes. When modeled separately insulin resistance but not insulin secretion predicted NIDDM. However, when both variables were entered into the same regression model, both increased IR and decreased β-cell function significantly predicted NIDDM.
We conclude that the HOMA provides a useful model to assess ²-cell function in epidemiological studies and that it is important to take into account the degree of IR in assessing insulin secretion.