Sixty-eight determinations of in vivo insulin resistance were conducted in 35 males (aged 29-63 yr) by measurement of steady-state plasma glucose levels during a combined intravenous infusion of propranolol, epinephrine, glucose, and insulin. Subjects were mildly diabetic and/or hyperlipidemic. All were asymptomatic, denied taking medication, and had no history of cardiac disease. All had normal resting electrocardiograms. During the infusion, mean increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 27 ± 12.2 (X¯ ± SD) and 14 ± 5.7 mm Hg, respectively;, mean reduction in heart rate was 19 ± 6.1 beats/min. Six out of the 35 subjects developed cardiac arrhythmias during the infusion test. Maximal exercise treadmill tests failed to predict all subjects who subsequently developed arrhythmias during the infusion test. These results suggest that this infusion test should be performed under continuous cardiac monitoring and promptly terminated if major arrhythmias develop.

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