Investigation of insulin resistance in narcoleptic patients: dependent or independent of body mass index?
Alice Engel1,2, Jana Helfrich1, Nina Manderscheid1, Petra B Musholt3, Thomas Forst3, Andreas Pfützner3, Norbert Dahmen1,2
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Mainz, Germany; 2Fachklinik Katzenelnbogen, Katzenelnbogen, Germany; 3IKFE, Institute for Clinical Research and Development, Mainz, Germany
Background: Narcolepsy is a severe sleep-wake cycle disorder resulting in most cases from a lack of orexin, the energy balance-regulating hormone. Narcoleptic patients have been reported to suffer from an excess morbidity of Type 2 diabetes, even after correction for their often elevated body mass index.
Methods: To explore whether narcolepsy is specifically associated with a propensity to develop insulin resistance, we measured fasting glucose, insulin, and intact proinsulin levels in 43 narcoleptic patients and 47 controls matched for body mass index and age. The proinsulin-to-insulin ratio was calculated. Insulin resistance was determined using the homeostatic model assessment method.
Results: Narcoleptic patients did not show elevated insulin resistance parameters.
Conclusion: In contrast with earlier reports, we found no evidence that narcolepsy specifically elevates the risk of insulin resistance (and consequently of type 2 diabetes) independently of body mass index.
Keywords: fasting glucose, insulin, intact proinsulin, narcolepsy, obesity
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