The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate insulin resistance and secretion using homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The fasting glucose and insulin concentrations, HOMA insulin resistance (IR), HOMA β-cell, antidouble-stranded DNA antibodies (anti-dsDNA), C3, C4, and SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) were determined in a total of 58 female SLE patients. All patients were classified into subgroups according to the presence of anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL + vs. aCL-) and SLEDAI scores (SLEDAI < 3 vs. SLEDAI > 3). Results showed that SLE patients with and without aCL had significantly higher fasting insulin levels, HOMA IR, and HOMA β-cells than controls. Similar results were also found in SLE patients with different disease activities. Pearson's correlation analysis showed that there was a highly significant correlation of HOMA IR with fasting insulin concentration in the SLE patient and SLE subgroups overall. However, HOMA β-cells were positively correlated with HOMA IR and fasting insulin level, but negatively correlated with fasting glucose concentration in SLE patients overall. In conclusion, SLE patients, regardless of the presence of aCL and different disease activities, had a higher risk of insulin resistance and abnormal insulin secretion than age-matched healthy controls, based on fasting insulin concentration, HOMA IR, and HOMA β-cells.
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