The insulin resistance syndrome has been noted as an interesting and important new risk factor for coronary artery disease. The syndrome consists of hypertension, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia, all of which are likely to be derived from insulin insensitivity. In subjects with nonobese and nondiabetic essential hypertension, steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) was higher than in normotensive subjects during an insulin sensitivity test, indicating reduced insulin sensitivity to glucose metabolism in the hypertensive group. SSPG correlated with the percentage decrease of branched chain amino acids, free fatty acids, and serum potassium during the insulin sensitivity test. With a 2-h insulin infusion, serum norepinephrine, epinephrine, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, and intraplatelet Ca2+ decreased significantly, but 6-ke-to-prostaglandin (PG) F and PGE2 did not change. Insulin resistance decreased by using antihypertensive treatments with bunazosin, cilazapril, amlodipine, and benidipine in hypertensive subjects. Diagnostic criteria for the insulin resistance syndrome, including clinical values for each risk factor, were developed. Lowered insulin sensitivity and hyperinsulinemia were demonstrated in subjects with both vasospastic and coronary artery stenotic angina. The insulin resistance syndrome together with hyperinsulinemia is likely to induce atherosclerotic changes, possibly through reduced rather than excessive action of insulin.

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